Bendon snaps up Aussie undie brands

Eric Watson 
File photo
Eric Watson File photo

Lingerie maker Bendon Group has bought three new brands from Australia's Gazal just two months after expatriate millionaire Eric Watson's Cullen Group relinquished the day-to-day management of the local manufacturer.

Bendon has agreed to buy the Lovable, Davenport and Kissed by Lovable underwear and lingerie brands from ASX-listed Gazal at a discounted price, expanding its brand range to 11, according to a statement.

The price wasn't disclosed, and Gazal said the divested assets aren't expected to impact on its 2012 earnings.

As part of the sale, which is expected to complete on October 14, Bendon will buy the trademarks for Crystelle and Fineform brands.

"Bendon is in the best position to take advantage of consolidation opportunities in the swimwear and intimate apparel market," Bendon chief executive Justin Davis-Rice said. "The decision to bring the additional brands into our portfolio reflects the strength and confidence we have in Bendon's current growth plans."

Two months ago, Bendon merged with Australia's Pleasure lingerie, a company founded by Davis-Rice and former Bendon designer Kay Cohen. Watson's Cullen Group retained an undisclosed beneficial interest in the group, but gave up control of the board. They were replaced by former Myer chairman Bill Wavish.

Bendon has the global rights to distribute Elle Macpherson Intimates and Stella McCartney labels.

In August, Gazal sold its Brands United outlet stores, which were considered discontinued operations.

The Australian company has cut back its number of businesses to create a simpler structure and let management narrow its focus, the company said.

Gazal's shares were unchanged at A$1.80 on the ASX today, and have shed 10 per cent this year.

- BusinessDesk

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