Iconic Adelaide-based bootmaker R.M. Williams is up for sale. The quintessential Aussie label, of which Hollywood actor Hugh Jackman is a part owner, could fetch up to $500 million.
At present, R.M. Williams is majority-owned by Singapore-based L Catterton Asia, a private equity firm backed by the owners of the LVMH group. The firm has commissioned Goldman Sachs to look for buyers and run an auction later this year, sources confirmed.
R.M. Williams sales have well and truly been on the up, which can be attributed to a strong global push in recent years, coming in at $142 million last financial year. That was up from $126 million in 2017, $119 million in 2016 and $124 million in 2015, documents filed with the corporate regulator show, as reported by SMH.
The label's largest shareholder, L Catterton, bought a 49.9 per cent stake in R.M. Williams from former News Corp Australia boss Ken Cowley in 2013, which was upped to 82 percent a year later.
IFM Investors, which operates on behalf of non-profit Australian superannuation funds, owns 13 per cent of the company. Aussie golden boy Hugh Jackman, who is also a brand ambassador for the bootmaker, owns the remaining 5%. He'd be set to clean up a hefty $25 million should the sale go ahead for somewhere around the half-billion dollar mark.
Having bought the company for about $110 million in 2014, it wouldn't be a bad return on investment for all parties involved.