David Jones has been bought by an private equity firm just years after it was sold to another company for billions.
Australian private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners announced on Monday that it would acquire the iconic brand from previous owners, South African-based Woolworths Holdings Limited.
Neither company has confirmed the sale figure, but The Australian reported the business was sold for $100 million, much lower than the $2.1 billion Woolworths purchased it for in 2014.
Woolworths wrote down more than $1 billion from the value of the company in 2018 and 2019, however the new owners were enthusiastic about its purchase of the 185-year-old brand.
The figure is expected to be confirmed next year, with Woolworths set to sell its physical property housing at its Bourke Street store in Melbourne, which is not a part of the deal.
The future of one of its flagship stores is yet to be determined, pending who snaps it up.
“The Anchorage team will work closely with CEO Scott Fyfe and the talented David Jones management team on the next phase of its transformation,“ a spokesperson from the private equity firm said,” an Anchorage spokesperson said.
“Under this team’s stewardship, David Jones is now profitable, cash-generative, and self-funding, and we are confident in David Jones’ next chapter as the retailer of the future with a seamless omnichannel experience.”
David Jones’ chief executive Scott Fyfe will stay on in his position, with a focus on customer loyalty and online shopping.
“It’s about premium and luxury. We’ll work closely with all the brand partners, continuing the great work my team have done from a physical and digital point of view,” he told the Nine papers.
The brand has previously signalled its focus on luxury, completing a $200 million refurbishment in its Elizabeth Street store in the Sydney CBD that features floors solely dedicated to luxury.
The deal is expected to be completed by March 2023.