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Allegro Removes JobKeeper Subsidies From Profit Numbers Ahead Of $400M Float

Allegro Funds are planning a proposed $400 million float of Best & Less in the near future, but the removal of $42.6 million in JobKeeper subsidies from profit numbers sent to would-be investors has raised eyebrows.

Industry sources told AFR that this is simply to ensure potential buyers aren’t duped by the fact earnings doubled between 2019 and 2021.

“They haven’t tried to fool anyone – it’s so big they’ve broken it out,” the source told AFR. “This sugar hit to profit is not repeatable.”

A Macquarie bank analyst echoed this in a report.

“BLG received payment for JobKeeper in Australia and wage subsidies in New Zealand – the pro forma results have been adjusted to remove this non-recurring benefit.”

The CEO of Best & Less, was previously a senior executive at Dick Smith. He reportedly walked due to his unease at management practices.

In December 2019, Allegro put the loss-making Harris Scarfe into administration and receivership, a move that drew the ire of unsecured creditors, who are reportedly owed somewhere in the ballpark of $146-$236 million.

Allegro looks to make a substantial profit if the Best & Less float is successful.


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