Postie Plus buyer found

CECILE MEIER
Last updated 14:36 04/06/2014

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An international retail group has signed a conditional agreement to buy troubled national clothing retailer Postie Plus.

Postie Plus was placed in voluntary administration yesterday, putting the jobs of 640 retail and office employees at risk.

The PwC administrators said today that the would-be buyer would conduct due diligence over the next three weeks.

The sale could be finalised within four weeks if conditions were met, they said.

Postie Plus' 82 stores would continue trading through the sale process.

The administrators said the sale was in the best interests of the company's stakeholders, trade suppliers, creditors, landlords and staff.

The Warehouse today ruled out buying the beleaguered business.

Grant Williamson, director of sharebrokers Hamilton Hindin Greene, said job losses and store closures were likely.

"If the business does sell, the new buyer will do a lot of restructuring and there will likely be some store closures and some staff redundancy," he said.

"But hopefully most of the staff will be taken on by the new buyer if that happens."

Some observers said that while Postie's clothing business might have limited appeal, the company's real estate could be its greatest asset.

Nigel Bingham, of Pencarrow Private Equity, said Postie's 82 stores could prove attractive to a retailer wanting to enter the New Zealand market.

It would have "no greater opportunity" to gain a foothold, he said.

"Postie Plus was shopped around three or four years ago and, to be honest, I don't think any of the private equity firms in New Zealand are of the style that is needed for a turnaround operation," he said.

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- The Press

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