Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest bought shoe maker RM Williams from L Catterton (LVMH) for 135 million dollars. This is the figure estimated by the Sydney media. L Catterton acquired RM Williams in 2014. The footwear brand, 5% of which was in the hands of actor and director Hugh Jackman, thus returns to its roots in Australia.
From a year ago till today
Over a year ago, there were rumours about the possible sale of RM Williams. Indiscretions that became certainties when the investment bank Goldman Sachs was hired by L Catterton (private equity fund partner of LVMH, owner of 82% of the capital) to explore the market for a sale. RM Williams’ performance has always been excellent, so much so that the initial price requested by Goldman Sachs was much higher. The price then fell also due to the pandemic. Until a month ago, investment fund Tattarang (controlled by tycoon Andrew Forrest) and TPG Capital remained in contention. In the end, Tattarang won, and officially announced the acquisition of 100% of the shares. Hugh Jackman will remain brand ambassador.
Australian billionaire Andrew Forrest
Forrest said he was “incredibly proud and honoured” to own the brand. But also, as reported by smh-com.au, of being “irritated” by the fact that such an important brand had ended up in non-Australian hands. The new owner has committed to continue manufacturing the boots in Australia, and will look to increase the company’s online presence. Confirmed in the role of CEO is Raju Vuppalapati, who said he was proud of the progress made by the company with L Catterton management, and hopes to be able to continue this growth also under Forrest leadership.