The Athlete’s Foot looking for retail acquisitions

RCG Corportation, the owner of footwear franchise chain The Athlete’s Foot, is reportedly in negotiations to buy Brisbane-based active wear retailer Lorna Jane.

Lorna Jane was founded by former aerobics instructor Lorna Jane Clarkson and her former courier agency manager husband Bill in 1990. Clarkson first started making gym clothes for instructors from a small studio.

The first shop was in the centre of Brisbane, but it now operates 40 stores and has expanded to New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

RCG chairman Ivan Hammerschlag, who declined to confirm the negotiations, told The Australian Financial Review that the ASX-listed company would have $2 million to spend when it receives the proceeds of sale of the King of Knives chain.

RCG put its business Amazing Paints into administration in 2006 and sold King of Knives for $4.5 million in 2007. The company has been criticised for combining businesses that offered no synergies.

This time the management seems keen to stay in the field of its most successful business The Athlete’s Foot. It has reportedly talked to 17 vendors since raising capital last year.

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