Truworths to acquire UK footwear retailer

November 30, 2015, 9:04am


Truworths is acquiring the Office Retail Group, a fashion footwear retailer in the UK, for £256m. Picture: MICHAEL ETTERSHANK  

By Business Day Live

TRUWORTHS is acquiring the Office Retail Group, a fashion footwear retailer in the UK, for £256m. Truworths said on Monday the transaction would mark the entry of the company into northern hemisphere markets.

"Office is a highly attractive business with strong prospects which, under Truworths’ ownership, will be further enhanced. Its rapidly expanding e-commerce business will be a platform for category and range extension," said Truworths.

The company said in September that it was in talks to buy the footwear chain, which sold men’s and women’s shoes from about 150 stores in the UK.

The move follows similar expansions made by other apparel players into developed markets as local market conditions remain constrained.

Along with standalone stores, Office has concessions in UK retailers Selfridges, Topshop and House of Fraser. The business also sells a broad range of third-party brands such as Converse, Ugg, Adidas and Nike.

Truworths said it would fund the acquisition through a combination of about in R3.6bn cash from SA, £80m in loans and £5.9m in revolving credit facilities in the UK.

The acquisition is subject to final approval from the South African Reserve Bank. At 9.30am, Truworths share price was up 0.21% at R96.21, valuing the company at about R41bn.