L Catterton is doubling down on Australian swimwear.
A week after creditors of the collapsed Australian swimwear brand Seafolly voted to approve L Catterton’s reacquisition of the brand from administration, the private equity firm linked to LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton has agreed to buy Jets Swimwear from Australia’s listed PAS Group Ltd., which is also in administration.
Confirming an earlier report in WWD, Sydney-based administrators KordaMentha, who are still the Seafolly deed administrators and made the purchase on behalf of L Catterton, released a statement on Monday about the Jets purchase.
PAS Group also issued a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange on Monday confirming it has entered into a binding sale transaction for the disposal of its interest in Jets Swimwear, to Seafolly Holdings Pty Ltd.
According to KordaMentha, the Jets business would be mainly a wholesale and e-commerce offering for the time being, they said.
“It makes a lot of sense to bring Jets into the Seafolly Group because the two businesses serve different market segments in the fashion swim category. The combination presents clear and material synergies around design, wholesale and supply chain” said Seafolly Group co-administrator Scott Langdon.
The sale price has not been disclosed, however WWD understands that it is around 650,000 Australian dollars or $465,084 at current exchange.
According to a report released Friday by PricewaterhouseCoopers to PAS Group creditors, the offer excludes debtors, leases and ongoing store operations and the buyer had agreed to offer seven Jets Swimwear employees ongoing roles, including taking on their employee entitlements. According to the report, Jets Swimwear has 40 employees.
Jets Swimwear has three boutiques in Australia. According to the company’s web site, the brand also has 350 global wholesale stockists in 17 markets, including Bloomingdale’s in Dubai, Everything But Water and Canyon Beachwear in the U.S. and Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Fenwick in the U.K.
Founded in Sydney in 1995, Jets was bought by Jessika and Adrian Allen in 2001 and relaunched as a premium swimwear line noted for its minimalist, tailored shapes, with a focus on the one-piece. The Allens sold the company to PAS Group in late 2015 for an undisclosed sum.
According to the PwC report Jets Swimwear’s sales in the 11 months to May 29 2020 were 8.053 million Australian dollars, down 37 percent from its full 2019 sales of 12.729 million Australian dollars in the 12 months to June 30, 2019, or $5.8 million and $9.1 million respectively, in average exchange for the two periods.
The PAS Group and 18 of its subsidiaries entered administration on May 29, just as the local retail sector was starting to show signs of recovery from Australia’s national COVID-19 lockdown in March and April. (Metropolitan Melbourne entered a second, more draconian lockdown this week, due to a dramatic resurgence of cases.)