Collapsed Harris Scarfe Bidder Pursued By ASIC
Australia’s former fourth-richest woman in Australia, Jan Cameron, has emerged as a potential bidder for the collapsed retail chain Harris Scarfe, sources reveal.
The news comes as Cameron faces charges from the corporate regulator ASIC regarding disclosure of her interests in Bellamy, an infant formula company, before it was purchased by China’s Mengniu last year.
Founder of outdoor equipment and clothing company Kathmandu, Cameron made her riches from strong business operations and was formerly one of Australia’s richest woman. She went on to sell her stake in Kathmandu for $247 million but lost a significant portion of her wealth in 2013 after her company, Retail Adventures, went into receivership.
Currently living in Tasmania, Cameron has stakes in Postie Plus, Pumpkin Patch and Macpac and has previously attempted to purchase Van Diemen’s Land Company, Australia’s oldest and largest dairy company.
Cameron’s interests in Harris Scarfe were revealed as her bids were due on Friday. Other contending parties include private equity firm Momentum, run by former JPMorgan investment banker Kevin Jacobson and Alceon, a specialised advisory, investment and capital company.
Harris Scarfe was previously owned by Momentum before it was sold to South Africa’s Pepkor, which offloaded it to the troubled Steinhoff International in 2014.
Bob Dalziel, former Coles Myer discount department division head, has also been a suitor for the take over.
Alceon, who owns Pumpkin Patch and Ezibuy, is looking to create its own onlin department store to rival Myer.
Final bids were initially due on 14 February with a total of four groups circling the failed retail chain, but the timeline has been extended to open up bidding to other interested groups or individuals.
On Friday, Harris Scarfe had announced it had closed a total of 21 stores nationwide, understood to be in NSW, Victoria and Queensland.