SurfStitch Acquired By Alceon Group

SurfStitch has been acquired by Alceon Retail Holdco Pty Ltd, a specialist advisory, investment and capital solutions firm who also own EziBuy Limited, a New Zealand-based apparel and homewares retailer, established 40 years ago and now ships almost 2 million orders per year across Australia and New Zealand. SurfStitch say they will operate independently from EziBuy Ltd, but that they will share some back office synergies to capitalise on the two entities’ joint revenue of $225m.

The Alceon team has extensive experience in advisory and investment and has a proven track record of successful retail turnarounds. Alceon’s other retail investments include a 40% interest in Noni B Limited (ASX:NBL) and a controlling interest in Cheap as Chips Discount Variety Stores. Since inception in February 2010, Alceon has funded more than A$1.5bn of equity and debt investments, across a total asset base in excess of A$2.5bn.

Press Release: SurfStitch Australia Pty Ltd is pleased to announce the completion of a Sale and Purchase Agreement (SPA) between Alceon Group and SurfStitch Group Administrators.

The SurfStitch acquisition was undertaken through Alceon Retail Holdco Pty Ltd, Alceon’s wholly-owned investment vehicle that houses Alceon’s ecommerce retail operations, which also include EziBuy Limited.

EziBuy is a New Zealand-based apparel and homewares retailer that was established 40 years ago and now ships almost 2 million orders per year across Australia and New Zealand. SurfStitch and EziBuy will continue to operate independently but utilise the benefits of scale that come from the combined group which will have total revenue of approximately $225m.

Alceon is a specialist advisory, investment and capital solutions firm. The Alceon team has extensive experience in advisory and investment and has a proven track record of successful retail turnarounds. Alceon’s other retail investments include a 40% interest in Noni B Limited (ASX:NBL) and a controlling interest in Cheap as Chips Discount Variety Stores. Since inception in February 2010, Alceon has funded more than A$1.5bn of equity and debt investments, across a total asset base in excess of A$2.5bn.

Richard Facioni, executive director of Alceon Group and head of private equity investments, yesterday said he was looking forward to returning SurfStitch to its previous highs.

“The underlying SurfStitch Australia business is in good shape; it is fundamentally a good business,” he said.

Unfortunately, it has been caught up in the group’s administration which has caused issues, such as uncertainty for staff, suppliers and customers that we can now put to rest.”

Mr Facioni said Alceon’s plan was to invest capital and restore confidence in the business and capitalize on its unique strengths.

“Having the support of Alceon, with our proven retail expertise and ecommerce investments which include EziBuy, creates exciting opportunities for SurfStitch, its team, its customers and its partners”, Facioni said.

The Alceon Group have confirmed their confidence in the SurfStitch management team under the leadership of Justin Hillberg.

General Manager Justin Hillberg is confident of a bright future for the business alongside Alceon.

Throughout the last 12 months we have continued to focus on our core competencies while preparing the business for success post VA. Now with the support of Alceon and conviction in our strategic plan we are looking forward to generating responsible growth through disciplined execution.”

“We’re committed to our loyal customer base and excited about growing that base through increased investment in the SurfStich brand. We’re lucky to have a world class assortment of brands that we can showcase in a powerful e-commerce solution that’s backed up by excellent customer service and our best in class fulfillment”, Hillberg said.

Now stability has returned to the business, SurfStitch will be investing in the brand through awareness initiatives and promoting a revitalised brand proposition to consumers and partners alike. After migrating to a new e-commerce platform within the last 12 months, SurfStitch has the ideal foundation to further develop the customer experience into a truly industry leading proposition.

Whilst responsible and sustained growth of SurfStitch is the primary focus, the management team have exciting plans to launch additional storefronts that cater to more specific niches while leveraging off the best in class ecommerce and fulfilment capabilities of the existing business.

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