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Best & Less, Harris Scarfe Sold to Allegro Funds
Greenlit Brands has sold four of its labels, including Harris Scarfe and Best & Less, to Allegro Funds. The sale aims to pull focus on Greenlit Brands’ homewares and furniture brands, including Plush, Fantastic Furniture and Freedom.
The brands included in this sale to Allegro Funds are Best & Less, Harris Scarfe, Postie and Debenhams Australia. The latter is closing its only store in Australia in 2020.
Last year, Greenlit Brands decided to split and move away from its subsidiary, Steinhoff. Throughout 2018, the South African company began selling off its assets in order to repay the debt that was uncovered in 2017. Last week, Alteri Investors acquired Blue Group, which owns UK furniture brands including Bensons for Beds and Harveys Furniture.
According to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in February, Greenlit Brands lost $23.7 million net in 2018. This is compared to a profit of $41.6 million in the previous year. The fall in net came after the brand booked $55.7 million in refinancing and restructuring costs, which was related to the closure of Poco, a discount furniture chain and the regulations required for the closure of Debenhams.
In September 2018, Greenlit Brands changed its name from Steinhoff Asia Pacific and began its diversion into the homewares and furniture category. This move is another step towards that goal, as all of the brands sold fall under the general merchandising category.
“Disposal of the general merchandise business is a significant strategic initiative which will allow Greenlit Brands to concentrate on its core household goods brands and optimise their already-strong position in the Australian and New Zealand markets,” explained Michael Ford, the Executive Chairman and Group Chief Executive of Greenlit Brands. “At the same time, the businesses will now join a group with a very strong track record in building and enhancing businesses with a single-sector focus. We believe this will unlock new opportunities for all the people working within these brands. Our gratitude and best wishes go to everyone who has helped build the businesses to where they are today.”
Allegro Funds has acquired the two brands for an undisclosed amount. “We look forward to supporting a highly experienced management team to transform each of the brands,” said Fay Bou, Managing Director of Allegro Funds. “The general merchandise business includes some iconic retail brands that have long-standing loyal customers and passionate staff that have supported the business serving generations of Australians and New Zealanders.” The acquisition of the brands are said to be completed by early December.
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