Worrells Solvency and Forensic Accountants revealed in late January this year that it had been appointed administrators of the retail chain, which at the time had 56 stores operating in Australia as well as supply agreements with other retailers, with hopes of being able to turn the business around and find a buyer.
In a written update issued at the end of March, administrators Simon Cathro, Chris Cook and Ivan Glavas revealed that, during the administration process, they had been “able to trade the business profitably” while taking steps to “right-size the business” and search for a prospective buyer.
That involved the closure of half of Napoleon Perdis’ store network, as of 4 February, taking the retail chain to 28 branded stores.
“We received a lot of interest in the business, but ultimately have negotiated terms that will enable the business to continue, with KUBA Investments Pty Ltd,” Mr Cathro said.
“KUBA is an Australian private investment and advisory group, led by Livia Wang and Henry Lee, which undertakes and manages retail-specific investments.”
In the statement, Ms Wang, who is the managing director of Sydney-headquartered Access Brand Management, outlined KUBA’s plans for the retailer’s future.
“KUBA’s investment will ensure loyal customers can continue to purchase Napoleon Perdis in over 700 store fronts and keeps more than 250 existing staff members in employment,” she said.
“We will leverage off the restructure undertaken by Worrells and continue to work closely with Napoleon, and the teams, to build the brand both in Australia and overseas.”
Worrells has issued its report to creditors, who will vote on whether to accept the buyout proposal at a second creditors meeting this Monday, 8 April.
“We are pleased that Napoleon and Soula-Marie Perdis [the couple who own and founded the retailer] have indicated their support for the DOCA [Deed of Company Arrangement] and have agreed to a transfer of their shares to KUBA as part of that proposal,” Mr Cathro said.
“The DOCA will also see Napoleon and Soula-Marie Perdis continue to bring their creative expertise to the business. If approved by creditors, the DOCA will see them continue in roles that will ensure the brand continues to thrive and grow under the new ownership structure.”