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Former Good Guys Boss Resurfaces

Former The Good Guys boss Michael Ford, has resurfaced as the regional head of Steinhoff International, the Company at one stage was a bidder for The Good Guys.

The 70-year-old executive has been appointed to a newly created role at Steinhoff Asia Pacific Group who own furniture chains Freedom, Snooze, Bay Leather Republic, Poco and Fantastic, which was acquired last year for $361 million.

Steinhoff also owns Pepkor South East Asia, which is run by Jason Murray and owns department store chains Harris Scarfe, Best & Less, Postie, Store & Order and Mozi.

Mr Ford was replaced at The Good Guys in April by Terry Smart the former CEO of the JB Hi Fi after the consumer electronics retailer purchased TGG in an $870 million takeover deal.

As group CEO, Mr Ford will oversee Steinhoff’s operations in this region.

Steinhoff SE Asia’s finance director Michael Gordon said the region was a key area of growth for Steinhoff, but declined to give details to the AFR.

“Michael Ford’s remit is to grow this region,” Mr Gordon said.

Ford has not said whether Steinhoff will make a tilt at trying to take over the Woolworths owned Big W.

Steinhoff was an underbidder for The Good Guys and is also believed to have expressed interest in Woolworths’ struggling BIG W chain and Fantastic’s major rival, Super Amart, which is owned by Quadrant Private Equity.

According to accounts lodged with ASIC last year, Steinhoff Asia Pacific earned a record $21.9 million pre-tax in the 12 months ending October, as sales (net of GST) soared 46 per cent to $663 million. The acquisition of Fantastic will boost Steinhoff Asia Pacific’s sales by at least $540 million to more than $1 billion.

Steinhoff, also owns Poundland and Harveys in Britain, Mattress Firm in the United States, and Conforama in France and is the world’s second biggest furniture retailer after IKEA. It raised $US1.2 billion or 15.3-billion-rand last month by spinning off its South African retail operations.


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