Woolworths buys Ezibuy for $350m

EziBuy's sales exceeded $200 million in sales over the past financial year. Photo / NZH
EziBuy's sales exceeded $200 million in sales over the past financial year. Photo / NZH

Australian company Woolworths - which is the parent of grocery company Progressive Enterprises - has announced it will be buying EziBuy for $350 million.

Woolworths said it was purchasing the company from EziBuy's founding shareholders Peter and Gerard Gillespie, and Catalyst Investment Managers.

The acquisition is subject to approval from the Overseas Investment Office.

EziBuy employs 500 people and sells apparel and homeware in both New Zealand and Australia.

It operates primarily via an online platform, catalogues and contact centres and 68 per cent of its sales are to the Australian market.

Woolworths said it was keen to invest in the next phase of EziBuy's growth and believed combining the companies would "boost its own multi-option capabilities"

"EziBuy is a world class retailer that understands the importance of customer experience, convenience and service in direct-to-customer channels," said Penny Winn, Woolworths' director of group retail services.

EziBuy sales exceeded $200 million in sales over the past financial year and had 550,000 customers in Australasia.

"The combination of our retail network, EziBuy's direct selling expertise and our respective loyal customer bases will provide a unique competitive advantage," Winn said.

She said Woolworths also wanted to learn from EziBuy's logistics at Palmerston North.

Ezibuy chief executive Simon West said the business had come from humble beginnings to become a market leader in both Australia and New Zealand.

"Further investment in mobile, customer insights and distribution will be priorities for us now as we move forward," West said.

Progressive Enterprises currently employs more than 18,500 New Zealanders.

- NZ HERALD ONLINE

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