Top firm tagged in South African retailer’s $300m dive into Australia

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King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) advised as a listed South African retailer became the biggest menswear retailer in Australia.

The firm advised Navis Capital Partners on its sale of its controlling interest in Retail Apparel Group (RAG) to The Foschini Group (TFG) for approximately $302.5m. The majority stake in RAG, which owns the Tarocash, Connor, yd., Johnny Bigg, and Rockwear brands, was bought by Navis in 2011 from CHAMP Ventures for about $175m.

This is the first major investment of TFG, which is one of South Africa’s largest retailers with sales exceeding $2bn yearly. RAG, which has nearly 400 standalone stores, has bucked the downtrend in Australia’s apparel sector, posting $326.2m in sales in 2016, up 15% year-on-year. The company, which initially planned a $400m float on the ASX, also increased its EBITDA to $36.5m last year, up 19% YoY.

Partners Matthew Coull, Evie Bruce, and Yuen-Yee Cho led the KWM team. They were supported by senior associate Clifford Sandler; solicitors Nicholas Ferrari, Luke Mulcahy, and Kristin Romano; and graduate Alyce Kliese.

Coull said that the effective collaboration of the leadership teams at Navis and RAG facilitated the smooth execution of the transaction.

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