Aussie firm owns Ezibuy

Last updated 12:52 13/01/2014

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Woolworths now officially owns Ezibuy and Palmerston North's Gillespie brothers have their multimillion-dollar payouts.

All 229,008,922 shares were transferred over to the Australian supermarket chain on Thursday - split between Woolworths New Zealand Group Ltd which has a 67 per cent holding and its sister company Multichannel Ltd, which has a 33 per cent holding.

Woolworths bought the Palmerston North company in a $350 million deal publicly announced in August.

The lion's share of that deal went to Australian private equity firm Catalyst Investment Managers, which bought in to Ezibuy in 2007.

Companies Office records show it has a 43 per cent stake, suggesting its payout would be $150m once the deal went through.

Peter and Wendy Gillespie still owned 25 per cent, worth an estimated $88m, and Gerard and Vivienne Gillespie owned 22 per cent, or $77m.

From humble beginnings in 1978, Ezibuy has grown to become the largest fashion and homeware multi-channel store in Australasia, selling $200m of goods in the last financial year and employing 500 people.

The company's main retail outlet, head office and international call centre remain at 170 John F Kennedy Drive in Palmerston North.

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- Manawatu Standard

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