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Godfreys Co-Founder Snares Majority Stake, De-Listing Likely

Godfreys Co-Founder, John Johnston (99), has today achieved a 91% stake in the vacuum cleaner retailer, allowing him to compulsorily acquire remaining shares, and propose de-listing from the ASX.

The news follows a recent financial review from new Godfreys management, who issued the retailer’s fourth profit warning this year.

Full-year earnings is forecast to be between zero and $1.5 million – a notable drop from the $3.5 million guidance in May.

For the month of June, comparable month to date sales dived 14.8% versus the same period last year, whilst like-for-like sales slumped 8.5% year to date.

Back in April, Johnston owned investment vehicle, Arcade Finance, issued its takeover bid, which alluded to a major restructure of the business and potential de-listing from the ASX.

Existing Godfreys shareholders are yet to accept Arcade Finance’s offer of 33.5 cents per share, and have until June 28th to decide.

Godfreys is reportedly also in discussions with Johnston-owned financier, 1918 Finance, to extend the limit of its $30 million senior debt facility.

The retail group has over 200 franchisee and company-owned stores nationally, and has seen its market value dive from over $100 million (upon listing) to under $10 million.

As previously reported, Mr Johnston achieved a controlling stake in the company last month, resulting in a major shuffle of its leadership team – including the appointment of Mr John Hardy as CEO for the third time.


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