Andrew Forrest buys RM Williams

By Tony Zhang|22 October 2020
Andrew Forrest buys RM Williams

Clayton Utz has advised Tattarang on its purchase of RM Williams.

Firm: Clayton Utz (Tattarang).

Deal: Clayton Utz has advised Tattarang, one of Australia’s largest private investment groups owned by Andrew and Nicola Forrest, on its purchase of iconic Australian company RM Williams from L Catterton, the largest consumer-focused private equity firm in the world.

Value: $190 million. 

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Area: M&A, private equity.

Key players:  Corporate partner Mark Paganin and special counsel Stephen Neale led the firm’s team, with key support from special counsel Scott Girdler and lawyer Georgia Denny. 

Other core team members included partner Peter Feros and special counsel Cameron Forbes (tax), and partner David Gerber and special counsel Craig Hine (W&I insurance).

Deal significance: Mining magnate Mr Forrest has brought iconic boot brand RM Williams back to Australian shores after a $190 million acquisition from US private equity firm L Catterton, bringing it back under Australian ownership for the first time since 2014.        

“Andrew and I want to continue the legacy of this great company, and that means continuing to employ and support the Australians that have built and grown the brand,” Mrs Forrest said in a statement.

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RM Williams had been up for sale since May last year after its parent company, Louis Vuitton-partnered private equity firm L Catterton, began seeking buyers for the business at a $400 million to $500 million asking price.

RM Williams was founded in 1932 by bushman and entrepreneur Reginald Murray “R.M.” Williams and is one of Australia's most iconic brands, famous for handcrafting the best boots in the world in its Adelaide workshop. 

The purchase brings RM Williams back into Australian hands, with RM Williams and Tattarang both having roots deeply ingrained within the Australian landscape and those who work with it.

Andrew Forrest buys RM Williams
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