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David Jones returning to Australian ownership

By Danielle Wightman-Stone


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Image: Unsplash by Luke White; David Jones, Elizabeth Street in Sydney, Australia

Anchorage Capital Partners has entered into a binding agreement with South African-based Woolworths Holdings Limited to acquire Australian department store chain David Jones for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement, Australia’s leading private equity firm Anchorage Capital Partners said that it will acquire the 185-year-old department store and help it become an omnichannel curator of world-class brands.

Anchorage added that it will work closely with the chief executive of David Jones, Scott Fyfe and his leadership team to support the retailer through its “next chapter of growth,” while also executing its ‘Vision 2025+’ strategy to transform the company.

The strategy, designed to capitalise on David Jones’ privileged market position and brand value, also includes growing its customer base, delivering a seamless service experience and leveraging the skill and experience of its employees.

Anchorage Capital Partners to acquire David Jones

David Jones was founded in 1838 and is a renowned Australian omnichannel brand with 43 stores and 2 distribution centres across Australia and New Zealand, alongside a growing e-commerce business. Anchorage states under the stewardship of Fyfe, the retail group is now “profitable, cash-generative, and self-funding,” and in a strong financial position following recent transformation initiatives including major investments in revitalising its flagship Bourke Street, Melbourne and Elizabeth Street, Sydney stores.

A spokesperson for Anchorage said in a statement: “David Jones has a storied history, immense brand value and unparalleled assets―including an attractive retail footprint, a loyal customer base, and dedicated employees.

“The Anchorage team will work closely with CEO Scott Fyfe and the talented David Jones management team on the next phase of its transformation. We are confident in David Jones’ next chapter as the retailer of the future with a seamless omnichannel experience.”

The acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of March next year.

Anchorage Capital Partners
David Jones
Woolworths Holdings Limited