Firms: Norton Rose Fulbright (Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu); Bridges Lawyers (My Home Storage Pty Ltd and Store Trade Pty Ltd)
Deal: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has sold Howards Storage World to My Home Storage Pty Ltd and Store Trade Pty Ltd.
Key players: Norton Rose Fulbright partners Chris Cruikshank (pictured) and Tim Mornane led the legal aspects of the external administration. Partner Ben Smits led the business sale. They were assisted by partners Michael McKee and Jackie O’Brien, senior associate Louise Connell and associates Mitchell Kelly, Catherine Ding, Isobel Taylor and Joshua Kwong.
Deal significance: Howards Storage World went into voluntary administration late last year, following a string of collapses of Australian retailers including Dick Smith and Pumpkin Patch.
Following the restructuring of the business, Norton Rose Fulbright advised the administrator Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu on the sale of Howards Storage World to My Home Storage Pty Ltd and Store Trade Pty Ltd, which are led by CEO Enayat Ghiasi.
Mr Ghiasi has appointed Howards Storage World South Wharf franchisee Ron Pugsley as chief operating officer.
“The HSW Group has been operating in a challenging market for some time, characterised by the failure of a number of established players in the retail sector due to ongoing pressures from deteriorating sales and margins in a highly competitive environment,” said David Lombe, a partner at Deloitte and an administrator of Howards Storage World.
“Achieving a sale in the current retail environment is an outstanding result and is directly attributable to the restructuring undertaken in the Howards business.”
Norton Rose Fulbright advised on the legal aspects of the external administration and the sale of the business. The firm said the sale allowed approximately 80 per cent of Howard Storage World’s store network to continue trading and saved around 160 jobs.
“Deloitte has achieved a great result in a challenging retail environment,” said partner Chris Cruikshank.
“Significant preparatory work was done to optimise the businesses prospects for sale, made even more challenging by running a process through the Christmas period.”