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TPG Capital in talks to step into RM Williams: AFR
Posted on Wednesday, 16 September 2020 13:25
Private equity investor TPG Capital has entered discussions over the potential purchase of RM Williams, an Australia-headquartered footwear and clothing provider, from LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The business paper stated that late-stage due diligence is currently being carried out and the suitor is attempting to nail down debt financing for the takeover.

It added that the deal would value the target at over AUD 250.00 million (USD 183.32 million) and an agreement could be reached in the next two weeks.

None of the parties involved have commented on the report as yet.

Reports of an RM Williams sale emerged in May 2019, when the AFR’s Street Talk publication reported that LVMH, via its L Catterton investment arm, had appointed Goldman Sachs to run an auction process and drum up interest from prospective suitors.

At the time, the article suggested the transaction could be worth between AUD 400.00 million and AUD 500.00 million.

In December, it was reported that EQT, Bain, TPG and Lunar Capital Management were in the final stages of the auction process.

However, the latest AFR report noted that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had resulted in the deal going cold due to its impact on the financial markets.

RM Williams was established in 1932 by its namesake founder, an Australian bushman who initially produced a wide range of leather goods, including saddles.

It is best known for its one-piece leather boots, designed as a durable footwear item for use in the Australian outback.

In addition to LVMH, the company’s investors currently include IFM Investors and Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows a sale of RM Williams at AUD 250.00 million would make the deal the second-largest targeting a shoe store operator to have been announced worldwide during 2020 to date.

The most valuable of the year so far is worth HKD 2.91 billion (USD 375.48 million) and involved Hillhouse Capital Management, through Belle Sports, offloading a 4.5 per cent stake in Topsports International Holdings to undisclosed independent parties.

© Zephus Ltd