A company affiliated with the Diva chain of retail stores has been placed in liquidation.
Brenden Hughes of Boroughs Australia was appointed liquidator of Diva International Pty Ltd on January 9.
Australian Securities and Investments Commission records seen by SmartCompany show Diva International Pty Limited is owned by millionaire Rich Lister Brett Blundy’s BB Retail Capital. Blundy (pictured) is a director, as is his sister Tracey Blundy and the company’s registered office is the BB Retail Capital head office in Sydney.
Hughes declined to comment on the appointment when contacted by SmartCompany except to say the company he has been appointed to liquidate is “not the main trading entity” of Diva.
According to an entry in the Bloomberg Businessweek company directory, Diva International Pty Ltd is the operator of the Diva jewellery stores in Australia and New Zealand and is located in Brookvale, New South Wales.
Diva International Pty Ltd also owns the last registered owner of the US trademark for the tagline ‘Love Diva’ in relation to retail jewellery and hair accessory stores and retail stores and mailorder catalogue services featuring jewellery and hair accessories.
The trademark was registered by the Australian company in 2009 but its current status is “abandoned”.
The liquidation of Diva International Pty Ltd follows reports in May 2014 that a number of Australian Diva retail stores had closed or been rebranded as sister-brand Lovisa.
SmartCompany spoke to staff at two Diva stores in Melbourne at the time, who said the brand was in the process of switching to the Lovisa name, although one store manager said her store would not be changing. The same manager confirmed the Diva website had ceased operating, with the website still offline today.
Diva was founded in 2003 by Colette and Mark Hyman, who sold the business to Blundy in 2005, joining other retail interests including Bras ‘N’ Things as part of the BB Retail Capital Group.
At one stage, Diva operated close to 200 stores in Australia and New Zealand and up to another 400 in international markets.
BB Retail Capital launched fellow fashion jewellery brand Lovisa, which is now reported to operate 220 company-owned stores across Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa.
The Lovisa chain has gone from strength to strength in recent months, with the company recording a 7.5% jump in its share price upon debuting on the Australian Stock Exchange in December.
Lovisa raised $110 million in its initial public offering by a sell-down of existing shares, giving the retailer a market capitalisation of $210 million. The retailer turned over $105.7 million in the 2014 financial year and is expected to turn over $134.7 million this year.
SmartCompany contacted BB Retail Capital but did not receive a response prior to publication.