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Two More Aussie Buyers Look At David Jones

Woolworths South Africa is courting two Australian private equity funds with hopes that it can offload the troubled David Jones.

The Australian reports that Allegro Funds and Anchorage Capital Partners have both taken a look at the retail giant in recent days.

Allegro recently bought Gull Petroleum’s network of over 100 petrol stations across New Zealand, and have a record of buying declining franchise networks.

Last month Solomon Lew confirmed he held “early stage, preliminary discussions” with Woolworths Holdings, ostensibly for his private, family-owned investment company, rather than the publicly-traded Premier Investments, which he heads up.

“We can confirm that the Lew Private Group engaged in early stage, preliminary discussions with Woolworths South Africa, but those discussions have now ended,” a spokeswoman for the Lew Private Group confirmed.

Given Premier owning close to 20 per cent of Myer, its very likely that Lew was simply scanning the competitor’s books.