Myer wants more retail businesses

The Myer family is looking to snap up other companies in the retail sector after buying the retail business of Australian Geographic from Archer Capital.

The Myer family and TPG, the private equity arm of the Myer department store chain, bought the 49 stores and 23 Socrates outlets, which have revenue of $50 million.

The Myer family plans to open small stores in some Myer department stores and refurbish tired stores.

The magazine was started by Dick Smith in 1985 and attracted 16,000 subscribers in the first week. In 1991 the first shop opened in Sydney. In 1995, Smith sold Australian Geographic magazine to Fairfax for $41.5 million.

Fairfax had grand plans for the content and wanted to use it for online and TV. But most of the profit was coming from the stores and Fairfax could never get its head around retail. Three years later it sold the business for $47.2 million. Then NAB and venture capitalists Grant Samuel Private Equity joined with senior managers to buy out the business.

In 2006, PBL bought the magazine and publishing assets for $25 million. Myer’s managing director Graeme Sinclair says he hopes the purchase will be the first of many in the retail sector.

Amanda Gome



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