Strathfield begins expansion

By Chris Nicholls

SYDNEY: Strathfield Group has announced it will acquire Clear Equipment Group and m8 Telecom in a bid to expand its store presence and product lines.

The acquisition, at a cost of $115 million for Clear Group and $25 million for m8, will mean Strathfield can expand its product line using Clear-sourced products and sell its products through the m8 chain.

While it remains unclear as to whether the m8 stores will now bear the Strathfield name, the purchase adds over 60 storefronts to the Strathfield Group’s footprint.

Strathfield said in a statement it would enhance “the current product offering in Strathfield’s existing retail store network” by including items in Clear’s current catalogue.

The purchases will also add to the group’s buying power, the company said.

A new management structure for the companies is currently under discussion, with all due diligence and settlements expected to be completed by 19 October.

The Strathfield Group’s expansion was foreshadowed in late June, when then chairman, Richard Poole, told that he expected to open “20 to 30” new stores a year from that time on.

Current Strathfield acting chairman, John Fries, said the purchases would “significantly strengthen the Strathfield business, expand the overall store footprint and substantially enhance the product offering in the company’s retail store network”.

Fries also said the company would “benefit from increased size and scale, which will better equip Strathfield to navigate the challenging retail environment presently being experienced”.

Strathfield director Warwick Mirzikinian holds “a significant (direct and indirect) interest in the equity of m8”, which will be examined as part of an ‘Independent Expert’s Report’, the company said.

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