Larry Kestelman’s LK group seizes Shoes & Sox owner

“NOT, it’s about 70% fashion and 30% shoes, [Brand Collective] is about 70 percent footwear and 30 percent fashion, ”said Financial Review Rich Lister.

“Between the two companies, we’ll end up with around 50/50 shoes and fashion and 50/50 between retail and wholesale operations,” he said.

“We will now have 250 independent stores and 117 department store dealerships in the group, as well as a full online and wholesale business.”

The Brand Collective and PAS Group wholesale operations supply major retailers, including the Kmart and Target chains of Wesfarmers, Myer, David Jones and Harris Scarfe.

The purchase price was not disclosed. Brand Collective had been in the market for about 12 months but the pandemic disrupted the sales process.

Anchorage bought Brand Collective from Pacific Brands in 2014 and bolted shoes & Sox, a popular children’s shoe chain, four months later.

Mr Kestelman said Queens Lane Capital is looking for more acquisitions and licensing deals with the aim of increasing annual revenues by around 20% per annum and possibly considering an initial public offering.

“We will be one of Australia’s biggest brand representatives,” he said, citing Everlast, Lonsdale, Slazenger, Bluey and Marvel.

“We represent many brands and we are becoming more and more adept at marketing brands, whether it’s wholesale, online or retail.

“We love mainstream marketing and we love mainstream brands and having this portfolio of brands gives us tremendous strength,” he said.

PAS Group and Brand Collective would operate as separate businesses, with Eric Morris continuing to lead PAS and Caleb Brown to lead Brand Collective, but would collaborate on brand development.

“It’s a well-run company, we don’t buy it because we think there are huge synergies between the two companies – we want them to have their own identity and to have stand-alone operations.” , did he declare.

Mr Kestelman said there was an opportunity for an IPO, especially to fund new acquisitions, but he was also happy that the group remained private.

Mr Kestelman, founder of internet company Dodo and owner of the National Basketball League, owned 10% of the PAS group before he took office and used the stake to block a takeover offer from US investment firm Coliseum Capital he three years ago.

He said that the PAS Group has returned to strong profitability and delivered its best results for five years.

“This latest lockdown is a huge challenge for everyone, but before the lockdown we were trading heavily and… getting new licensing deals.”


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