Dick Smith has confirmed it will ‘expand its footprint’ across Australia and New Zealand following its final release from former parent company, Woolworths Limited. The news comes as new Dick Smith’s new owner Anchorage Capital Partners confirmed it has “completed a release from the financial obligations to [Dick Smith’s] former partner; Woolworths” and that the retailer would be embarking on a new direction.
After Dick Smith was placed under formal review by Woolworths at the end of 2011, the franchise was officially put up for sale just two months later, with Woolworths announcing private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners as the successful buyer in September 2012. Anchorage purchased the business for “initial cash proceeds” of $20 million.
Woolworths confirmed that the “total proceeds from the sale of Dick Smith” were $94 million, including a $50 million payment on 28 June 2013 and $24 million in 12 monthly installments commencing July 2013.
Speaking today about the final handover, the CEO of Dick Smith Australia and New Zealand Nick Abboud said it marked a new chapter for the retailer.
“This is a very exciting day for Dick Smith — one that we have been working towards since Anchorage first came on board,” said Abboud. “The Dick Smith business is in a strong financial position with cash in the bank and no net debt. Based on Dick Smith’s performance over the last six months we are confident the business will continue to experience positive growth and performance as a major player in the Australian consumer electronics industry.
“Dick Smith is committed to helping consumers get the most out of their technology and that starts in store. In the coming months we will be announcing a number of exciting initiatives that will see major changes to customers’ retail experience and an expansion of Dick Smith’s footprint throughout Australia and New Zealand.”
When Anchorage bought the Dick Smith business last year, it acquired 100 per cent of the assets which included 325 stores employing some 4,500 people. In May this year, the company announced it had “undertaken a review of its business” and was consequently “implementing a series of operational changes”, though it confirmed no stores would be closed.