New owner near for Shanton

CATHERINE HARRIS
Last updated 12:52 15/11/2012

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The receiver of womens' clothing retailer Shanton Apparel has hammered out a conditional deal with a New Zealand-based buyer to save the chain.

The deal relies on the buyer, Shanton Fashions, being able to secure leases for the stores after negotiations with existing landlords.

A sale price was not disclosed.

Shanton Apparel owns Shanton Retail, which has about 122 staff at 39 stores.

It also owns BBB Retail, which has 45 Bed, Bath and Beyond homeware stores and which is not involved in the receivership.

Tauranga-based receiver Anthony Harris said it was a very positive outcome, preserving jobs for the "extremely loyal" staff since the firm had gone into receivership in October.

It would also preserve tenants for the landlords, many whom had had a long relationship with the Shanton brand.

Company Office records show Shanton Fashion was incorporated yesterday and its sole director and a major shareholder is Auckland-based Mandeep Pala, who has a variety of business interests.

Harris said other sale details were confidential until the transaction was completed.

But he confirmed that all employers at receivership would be paid preferential holiday entitlements in full.

Gift vouchers, which staff were initially told to stop selling, would be honoured before and after the sale process.

Until the receivership, Shanton Apparel was majority-owned by Australian-based Atamine, with Carter Trading and Manukau-based Taca holding stakes.

Shanton Apparel, including BBB Retail, had total revenue of $48.7m and made a net profit of $2.3m for the June 2011 year.

BBB Retail's accounts for the year to June 2011 show the company had total assets of $10.3m but liabilities of $13.5m.

It shows a $9.9m related party loan to Shanton Apparel.

Shanton Apparel's shareholder equity was also in the negative by $640,000, mainly due to a $10.4m related party loan to Shanton Properties (NZ) and accumulated losses.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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