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BREAKING NEWS: Wesfarmer Buy Catch New K Mart Online Division

Days after Gerry Harvey purchased Seconds World From administration Wesfarmers has snared the Catch Group owners of Catch of The Day where distributors and retailers dumped slow selling stock, it’s also the same online retailer that Gerry Harvey is targeting with his new 2nds World retail chain which is also set to expand their online sales operation up against Catch Of The Day.

Wesfarmers chief executive Rob Scott said that the former owners of Coles had paid $230 million for the Catch Group, former investors included
James Packer and the co-founder of online employment service Seek, Andrew Bassat, the business is being bought in under the K Mart Group under the management of Ian Bailey.

“Catch Group has a high calibre management team and a leading e-commerce platform with quality fulfilment assets,” Mr Scott said.

“This acquisition represents an opportunity to accelerate Wesfarmers and Kmart Group’s digital and e-commerce capabilities whilst continuing to invest in the unique customer and supplier proposition provided by Catch Group.”

Mr Bailey said Catch had built a successful first-party and fast-growing marketplace business underpinned by a leading technology platform and data capabilities.

Launched in 2006 Catch Group competed head on with Kogan, the business was co-founded by Gabby Leibovich and Hezi Leibovich, the Company has 800 staff.

In their latest financial results, it reveals Catch lost $4.3m in fiscal 2018, down from a loss of just over $17m in 2017. In 2018 revenue rose more than 40 per cent to $262m.

ChannelNews has been told that Wesfarmers also evaluated the concept of buying the Kogan operation but chose the Catch Group instead.

Scott claims the acquisition is consistent with Wesfarmers’ disciplined approach to capital allocation, including investment in opportunities adjacent to its existing businesses.

He said it is also consistent with the Group’s focus on investing in and building its data and digital capabilities.

“We are excited to work with the Catch team and look forward to leveraging our capabilities to grow the business and accelerate the customer-driven, omni-channel initiatives across Kmart and Target,” Mr Bailey said.

“This will further drive best practice in supply chain, fulfilment and online execution across our brands, including opportunities for Target to secure online fulfilment capacity and productivity benefits. Catch will also benefit from the support of Kmart Group’s scale and capabilities to drive its continued growth in its existing marketplace business.”

Catch Group managing director and CEO Nati Harpaz said the Catch team was looking forward to becoming a part of the Wesfarmers Group and working with the Kmart Group for the benefit of Catch’s business partners and customers.

“Catch will continue to deliver innovation in the online market in Australia, with the focus of delivering great value and savings to our customers.”

Completion of the acquisition is subject to a number of conditions precedent including approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission merger clearance, which is expected in the coming months. The acquisition will be funded from existing debt facilities and is not expected to affect Wesfarmers’ existing credit ratings.

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