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Fashion business sale a perfect fit

The sale of a leading New Zealand “bricks and clicks” fashion business to an established wholesale and retail entity demonstrates the breadth and depth of the Bayleys Business team, with the vendor lauding the firm’s success in concluding the complex and challenging deal.

The sale marks a significant milestone for the Kiwi-founded enterprise which began with an ecommerce site then backed it up with a string of retail stores, and will allow them to transition out of the business via a structured exit plan.

William Cheong of Bayleys Business says it will be “business as usual” for the New Zealand retail stores which will come as good news for the loyal customer base nurtured by the founders for close to 10 years.

“The brand’s founders have worked hard to create a community of followers, making good use of social media to build customer engagement and loyalty, and creating a positive in-store experience.

“They have reached out to their client base to reassure them that the shopping experience will not change under new owners and that if anything, it will be a stronger and better company under the new ownership arrangement.

“The purchasers have a well-capitalised and highly-successful retail and wholesale model and this latest acquisition is a diversification of their portfolio, with their vast experience in brick and mortar retail expected to help solidify the business further in the New Zealand market.”

While segments of the fashion retail sector have found consumer and economic conditions challenging in recent years, Cheong says the business just sold has prospered with a prudent and nimble operating model, and it carries no debt on its balance sheet.

“As such, Bayleys Business was able to structure a sale and transition plan to allow a reasonably quick exit from the business for the founders as they reassess life priorities.

“The incremental acquisition will take place over three tranches providing a seamless pathway for management and staff, and ensuring business and brand continuity.

“The nature of the graduated takeover relied on a bespoke plan that catered to the needs of all parties to the sale.”

Cheong says Bayleys Business is an effective change-maker in the business sales’ market with the resources and the broad industry intel to conclude complex deals such as this one – no mean feat in a high inflation environment where establishing value is tricky.

“There was not a linear path to the ultimate conclusion. The layers of complexity required us to draw on the array of specialist skillsets that the Bayleys Business team has from high-level accounting, intricate capital calculations and forecasts, legal insight and sales psychology.

“The raft of experience within Bayleys Business allows us to offer a service that is comparable to the ‘Big 4’ multinational firms when it comes to market analysis.

“Deals such as this with an inherently emotional component given the owners started the business from scratch and are so passionate about it, are also founded on much more than just the numbers. Having the right broker with empathy, connection and patience to encourage parties to keep going with the process is paramount to attaining an optimal result.”

In a testimonial post-deal, the vendors praised Cheong’s tenacity and business acumen in selling the $30m-plus revenue business, acknowledging it was a complex and challenging task.

“Transactions of this nature take time and knowledge, Throughout the process, William was patient and persistent in getting an outcome by first understanding our needs and issues, presenting us with multiple possible purchasers, and then following up tirelessly to get a result.”

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