Luxury retailer Oroton secures trading lifeline from Will Vicars

Luxury retailer Oroton secures trading lifeline from Will Vicars
Luxury retailer Oroton secures trading lifeline from Will Vicars

The embattled luxury retailer Oroton has secured a lifeline after one of its major shareholders, Will Vicars offered to take over the company.

Oroton Group's administrator Deloitte has accepted a purchase proposal from the fund manager who owns 18 per cent of Oroton's ASX-listed shares.

The deal marks the end of an era for the Lane family, who founded the business in 1938.

The ASX-listed brand went into voluntary administration in late November. In July the clothing distributor Gazal Corp bought a 7.3 per cent stake for $3.1 million which valued the company as worth $44 million.

Oroton Group was 21 per cent owned by the founding Lane family and 17 per cent owned by Caledonia Funds Management chief investment officer Will Vicars.

The deal should see Oroton avoid a break-up of its business and allow its 50 stores across Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia to continue trading.

The administrator has not revealed the value of the deal or how much creditors can expect to receive.

"Despite interest, there was no other offer that would have resulted in a superior outcome for the business or employees," administrator Vaughan Strawbridge from Deloitte told shareholders.

Under the binding and exclusive agreement Mr Vicars signed late on December 23 with Strawbridge, he will propose a deed of company arrangement that will rescue the business.

No details of the size of the rescue package, or the returns to creditors, have yet been provided. 

Vicars had been a director of Oroton for 16 years until he resigned in May, having previously acted as the company's white knight when in June he put up $3 million in credit support for the company's working capital facility with Westpac.

Its annual revenue was $123 million.

The board held 10 meetings during the past year, plus 33 unscheduled board meetings to seek to set the company afloat.

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Oroton Administration

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