Private equity giant TPG Capital Management LP is in talks to buy Australian bootmaker R.M. Williams from French fashion giant LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the Australian Financial Review (AFR) reported on Wednesday.

The U.S. buyout specialist is conducting “late-stage due diligence” and trying to secure financing for a deal that would value the 88-year-old Australian manufacturer at more than A$250 million ($182 million), the AFR said.

Representatives of TPG and LVMH in Australia were not immediately available for comment when contacted by Reuters.

A sale at the price quoted by the AFR would be a mark-down from the roughly A$500 million that was widely reported in Australian media as being R.M. Williams’s valuation when LVMH, via its investment arm L Catterton, put the asset up for sale in 2019.

However, fashion retailers around the world have experienced a sharp decline in sales since the COVID-19 outbreak prompted border closures and stay-home orders as governments attempted to slow the spread of the virus.

Also in Australia, LVMH-backed swimsuit maker Seafolly Pty Ltd appointed administrators in June citing a sales downturn from the coronavirus.

Source: Reuters


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