Pacific Brands went to New Zealand firm Bell Gully for advice on its acquisition of bedwares and survival clothing maker Arthur Ellis.
Arthur Ellis is one of New Zealand’s oldest businesses and owns a number of brands including Fairydown, Everwarm and Survival Merino. The NZ$13.2 ($12.4) million acquisition complements Pacific Brands’ purchase of the Sheridan business earlier in 2005. It was financed by existing debt facilities and includes all the staff assets and intellectual property of the businesses.
Bell Gully senior associate Andrew Petersen said the fact that Pacific Brands was not buying the Fairydown brand in its entirety created complex brand-sharing issues. These were dealt with through a trademark sharing agreement between Pacific Brands and Arthur Ellis.
This also created separation issues, and transitional services were required.
Bell Gully partners James Gibson and Phil Taylor were also involved in the deal and David Gould of Anthony Harper represented Arthur Ellis.
Petersen said the negotiations were “amicable”, and a very commercial approach was taken. The Bell Gully team worked closely with John Grover, Pacific Brands’ legal counsel, on the transaction, he said.