AUSTRALIA: Boot Firm RM Williams May Go Private
Boot and bush apparel producer RM Williams is set to be taken over by its chairman Ken Cowley in a deal that values the famous Aussie firm at A$26 million.
The Adelaide-based company, best know for its elastic-sided boots, has suffered falling profits and sales for several years and last year took its first steps in offshore manufacturing in a bid to cut costs.
Cowley already holds a 51.7 per cent stake in the firm through privately owned Strathig Pty Ltd. He has offered $1.20 a share for the remaining stock, valuing the company at A$26m.
While he has yet to comment on the bid but the company's 95-year-old founder Reginald Murray Williams today backed the move.
"It started as a family company and I look forward to it returning to a family company, with my dear friends the Cowleys at the helm," he said. "I trust them to honour the future of the brand and my name."
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