Is Big W & Masters Set To Flogged Just Like Dick Smith?
Back in 2012 Anchorage Capital acquired the Dick Smith assets from Woolworths for an initial $20M and a later payment of $74M, 18 months later the consumer electronics retailer was floated for $344M. The Company was not available to comment on the latest rumour that two more Woolworths assets could go up for sale.
Global buyout firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts is believed to be circling the struggling Woolworths operation who recently reported a 12.5% slump in profits.
Several private equity Companies have told ChannelNews that they would be interested in buying the Big W and Masters chains who recently expanded their consumer electronics and appliance offerings.
Last week Woolworths appointed Gordon Cairns as Woolworths’ new chairman.
Shortly after his appointment the former Lion Nathan boss and current Origin Energy chairman signalled that all aspects of the business would come under review, he did not rule out selling Woolworths assets.
While Woolworths has never been a seller, Mr Cairns’ comments after his appointment on Friday would have offered acquisitive buyout firms some encouragement.
After being appointed chairman, Mr Cairns, a veteran consumer goods executive, told The Australian he had “an open mind” about the future of the Masters hardware store chain and would make a decision based on the facts once he was in the job.
“Given that the facts look so disadvantageous for Masters, we see this comment in a very positive light,” Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst David Errington, in his research commentary.