April 16, 2013

LVMH acquires 49% stake in Australian brand RM Williams for $52m

France-based luxury goods retailer LVMH has acquired 49.9% stake in Australian family-owned clothing brand RM Williams in a deal worth $52m.

By admin-demo

France-based luxury goods retailer LVMH has acquired 49.9% stake in Australian family-owned clothing brand RM Williams in a deal worth $52m.

The acquisition was made through Singapore-based private equity firm L Capital Asia, which is backed by LVMH’s holding company Groupe Arnault.

The agreement was made based on earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, in excess of $10m, The Australian reported.

With this deal, RM Williams chairman Ken Cowley owns remaining 50.1% controlling stake in the company.

L Capital has an option of acquiring remaining stake at the same valuation.

Commenting on the acquisition, RM Williams chairman Ken Cowley noted that its new part-owner has maintained that the company would continue to manufacture its merchandise in the country.

"Our new partners share our commitment to protect and develop this fundamental element of our business," added Cowley.

"Partnering with L Capital, which is sponsored by one of the globe’s most prestigious and revered brand companies, LVMH, will allow the R.M.Williams name to reach its full potential."

Cowley family took-over the business after the death of its founder Reginald Williams in 2003 and it was soon privatized by acquiring remaining stakes owned by Kerry Stokes in a $13m deal.

"R.M. was one of my closest friends and I promised him in 2003 before he passed that I would take his legacy to the world," remarked Cowley.

L Capital, meanwhile, stated that the company has reviewed RM Williams’ business for five years before planning to invest in the brand to expand the business in the global market.

Following the purchase of RM Williams, LVMH has enhanced its portfolio that a wide array of brands including Christian Dior, Givenchy, Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs.

RM Williams currently has 1100 sellers, 63 retail stores across Australia, UK and US and also it exports merchandise to 15 countries.