L Catterton Polishes RM Williams, Ready to Give It The Boot

Extract from the AFR today:

Legendary Australian riding boots and clothing manufacturer and retailer, RM Williams, is being readied for sale in a deal that could fetch its shareholder as much as $500 million. Street Talk can reveal RM Williams' private equity owner, Singapore-based L Catterton Asia, has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to drum up buyer appetite and auction the business in coming months. RM Williams is expected to be pitched to global apparel and fashion houses, as well as large domestic and offshore private equity firms that could help realise RM Williams' global expansion plans. It is expected to be pitched as a $400 million to $500 million company, with 50-odd shopfronts and more than 500 multibrand retail locations in Australia and a growing presence offshore.

Looks like the 'Australian' brand we all love at Ozbargain is going to change hands again from its current Singaporean owners. Don't know about you guys, but I've noticed a drop in quality of these boots, partly due to a Private Equity firm being notorious for cutting costs, making an operation a more lean machine and flipping it over to a new owner.

Comments

  • +2 votes

    Always thought the product looked quality but always out of my justifiable price range.

    •  

      Back when you could pick up a pair for $350 that would last you 20 years with proper care then they were definitely worth the value. Most comfortable pair of shoes I own.

  •  

    have been fortunate to buy my boots around the $350 mark but from now on i will only buy boots during warehouse sale events….. $500 was maybe pushing it, but that was only maybe 12months ago, its now 600-700 per pair

  • +1 vote

    Valued at $500M, so it's only valued at 18x the retail price of a pair of their boots?

    RMW's look ok and seem well made, but hush puppies cost $100 and seem to last 5 years. Rivers BS welted boots look much worse, but take just as much of a beating.

  • +1 vote

    Have noticed that after the 2013 LVMH purchase most of the product (minus boots and selected clothing) is now made in China or Bangladesh. Jeans used to be made here or Fiji but are now made in China and the quality shows it. The Aussie made boots however are still good quality, but I'd never pay $500+ for them. Most I've paid is $300 from eBay and I own 5 pairs and wear them 5 days a week. Well worth the investment because they look as good as new after years of use.

  •  

    That'll certainly piss off ADF with their Parade boot issues…

    -achew
    'scuse me

    •  

      Judging by the last few years I'd say the ADF commanders will be happy swap out boots for stilettos and pumps sweety-darling.