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RM Williams on the market shopping exercise – business



Iconic boat maker RM Williams is for sale, with minority shareholder Hugh Jackman sharing in a $ 500 million payday if a buyer is found.

But Nine News Finance Editor Ross Greenwood believes the "price is high" and that sales are just a "shopping exercise."

"It's a very interesting story. RM Williams, Reginald Murray Williams, himself, the boat maker, I wonder if he would turn his grave over if he thought the company could be worth $ 500 million," Greenwood said today this morning.

Iconic boat maker RM Williams is for sale. (PR IMAGE)

"To be honest, I think this is a bit of a shopping exercise to see if there are buyers."

RM Williams, based in Adelaide, was founded in 1932. It is best known for its elastic boots, some of which are for sale for more than $ 1000.

The company is largely owned by Singapore-based L Catterton Asia, a private equity firm supported by LVMH Moët Hennessy – the French luxury goods conglomerate that owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Givenchy and the Moët Hennessy Champagne house.

IFM Investors owns 13 percent of the company, while Australian actor Jackman owns 5 percent and a & # 39; brand ambassador & # 39; is.

Hugh Jackman is a minority shareholder and brand ambassador of RM Williams. (Supplied)

The Greatestman star could get $ 25 million net if the iconic brand is redeemed at the asking price of $ 500 million.

"It is a very interesting story about where it is going now, who ultimately buys it and whether it ends up in Australian hands," said Mr Greenwood.

L Catterton bought the company for about $ 110 million in 2014, with Mr. Greenwood saying it was attracted to the quality of the Australian brand.

Reginald Murray Williams, known as RM Williams, founder of one of Australia & # 39; s best-known clothing brands with his name, died in 2003. (AP / AAP)

"If you look at the handbags that Louis Vuitton made, they are really works of art as good as anything else. Almost the same can be seen in these boots. They are handmade, they are sewn by hand," said Mr Greenwood.

"This goes all the way back to the original sadler RM Williams himself when he made these things. I think this is one of the things we recognize in Australia. That we have these amazing works of art, iconic things that go to the world.

"As a result, it is the reason why they can be valued and why half a billion dollars in the price tag they've received in this company."

RM Williams has around 50 stores and the boots are available in around 500 department stores in Australia and the rest of the world.

Two more stores are planned for China next year.


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