Warehouse pays $33m for stake in Torpedo7

By Ben Chapman-Smith

Torpedo7 co-founder and co-chief executive Luke Howard-Willis. Photo / supplied
Torpedo7 co-founder and co-chief executive Luke Howard-Willis. Photo / supplied

The Warehouse Group is set to expand its "multichannel business" by taking a majority shareholding in major online sporting gear retailer Torpedo7.

In an announcement to the NZX this morning, the company said it had signed an agreement to acquire 51 per cent of the shares of Torpedo7 Limited, for up to $33 million.

Hamilton-based Torpedo7 was founded in 2004 by Luke Howard-Willis and is now a popular online seller of outdoor sports clothing and equipment, with a particular focus on cycling.

An Australian Torpedo7 website was kicked off in 2006 and the company now also operates the 1-day and Urban Daddy websites in New Zealand and Australia.

The Warehouse Group said it would pay $20 million on settlement, with the performance-related balance payable over three years.

The other 49 per cent of the shares of Torpedo7 will be retained by existing shareholders and settlement is expected to occur early next month.

Warehouse chairman Graham Evans said the move would offer customers "a retail experience when, how and where they want it across a broader range of products.

"The strategic partnership created by the purchase of a majority shareholding in Torpedo7 Limited is another example of our continued focus on the expansion of our multichannel business," he said.

Torpedo7 and its related companies had proven expertise in developing and growing online businesses, Evans said.

Torpedo7 will remain based in Hamilton as a standalone business and the management team will continue running its operations.

The Warehouse makes its half-year result announcement this Thursday. It shares were trading at $3.420 at 5pm on Friday.

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