Fashion retailer Country Road has bought Witchery and Mimco in a $172 million acquisition, with Baker & McKenzie and Gilbert + Tobin as legal advisers.
Gilbert + Tobin advised Country Road on its acquisition, which is being funded through a combination of debt financing and a renounceable rights offer. Gilbert + Tobin has advised Country Road on all aspects of the transaction.
Baker & McKenzie, meanwhile, advised Gresham Private Equity on the sale. The Bakers team was lead by partner Craig Andrade and senior associate Tyson May, assisted by partners Tim Sherman, Bryan Paisley and David Jones, and associates Andrew Zimmerman and Kenneth Wong.
Andrade said that "given the significant challenges in Australia's retail environment, combined with a sharp and prolonged contraction in bank lending and volatile equity markets, this transaction is in fact a very good achievement for all parties”.
“We were delighted to have worked with our client to achieve this result and hopefully it will provide a measure of confidence to the market in implementing transactions in these difficult conditions."
At Gilbert + Tobin, corporate Advisory partners Hiroshi Narushima and Janine Ryan and Finance partner James Lewis led the team and were supported by lawyers Alex Brown, Ilona Roze, Spiro Papadolias and Tom Coates.
Narushima said: “The combination of the Country Road, Trenery, Witchery and Mimco brands under the one fashion house creates scale and demonstrates confidence in the outlook for retail in Australia.”
The CFO of Country Road, David Thomas said of the legal workings on the deal: “We’re very excited to have executed on this complex transaction. It’s evolved over several months and Gilbert + Tobin has partnered with us to help drive and close out the deal. I’m proud of the way my team has worked with theirs and this is an exciting time for the business.”
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