EXCLUSIVE: Senior Execs Quit Dick Smith, JB Hi Fi Dismiss Takeover Rumour
Carl Bonham the former merchandising director quit last week, now three senior buyers have left the Company with one former executive telling ChannelNews that “serious” questions have been raised about stock levels and the failure of certain product categories.
Bonham joined Dick Smith in 2013, prior to joing the mass retailer he was Managing Director, Global Sports Depot and prior to that COO of Rebel Group.
One area of concern has been the high level of house brand products which Dick Smith source via their own supply office in Hong Kong.
It’s believed that decisions have been made in Hong Kong “without” consultation with senior category buyers in Australia.
Earlier this week it emerged that Dick Smith has called in Luminis Partners for an advisory role in what is viewed as a pre-emptive move to fend off any prospective suitors.
The boutique firm, founded earlier this year by veteran bankers Simon Mordant and Ron Malek, is also working with struggling grocer Metcash and Southern Cross Media Group, roles that it won largely thanks to the founding partners’ prolonged relationship with Rob Murray.
Mr Murray is chairman at Dick Smith and Metcash and also sits on the Southern Cross Media Group board.
One Company tipped to be considering an acquisition of Dick Smith is JB Hi Fi.
JB Hi-Fi trades at about 13 times its earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation and has a $1.79 billion market value.
Dick Smith trades at between six and seven times its EBITDA and its market value has sunk since its initial public offering to about $331m. There are said to be strong synergies between JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith, which has about 400 stores across Australasia.
Senior management at JB Hi Fi have dismissed the claim that they are looking to acquire Dick Smith.