By James Wells

MELBOURNE: The newly-created Retravision Retail business will tomorrow acquire the five McKnights stores which will become corporate stores within the Retravision Southern group.

Retravision Southern CEO, Brian Kelly, told the transaction flagged in early March will go ahead.

“The contracts are signed and the keys will be handed over tomorrow. Since we announced that we were buying the stores, there have been normal negotiations and the stocktake is happening today," he said.

Kelly said that the new Retravision Retail business is an important pillar in the Retravision Southern business.

“Retravision Retail operates on two levels – one is securing the business we’ve got and the second is getting Sydney up and moving."

In early March, Retravision Vic-Tas as it was then known, prior to being renamed Retravision Southern, temporarily purchased five retail stores within its group previously owned by the Austral Group located at Ringwood, Mentone, Taylors Lakes, Epping and Moorabbin.

At the time, Kelly said his business had been working on a change of ownership for its largest shareholder after the stores, which were trading as McKnights Retravision, were approached by a competitor.

“The Retravision (Vic-Tas) Ltd Board decided it was in the best interest of the group not to allow the five stores to be sold to a competitor. Deloitte, an independent accounting and business advisory firm, was engaged to carry out an extensive due diligence into the operation of the Austral group. Based on the findings and other considerations, RVT decided the best option for Retravision (Vic-Tas) Ltd was to purchase the Austral group of stores.

The purchase of the McKnights stores does not include the Hoppers Crossing store owned and operated by Peter McKnight who will continue to be a shareholder of Retravision Southern.

John Graham and Mark Posch who are shareholders in the Austral group will continue on as employees of the new company, as will Luke Rich, in his role as retail operations manager.