Highclere International sells stake in Oroton Group

UK fund manager Highclere International has sold its entire 7% in Oroton Group this week, as the Australian leather and accessories edges closer to a potential sale and change of ownership.

Highclere served as Oroton’s fourth biggest shareholder – Oroton Group

Highclere sold 2.9 million shares through Angus Aitken’s Aitken Murray Capital Partners, just before the market opened on Thursday at A$1 a share, as reported by the Australian Financial Review.

Highclere’s stake was reportedly bought by a listed player — not investors — with industry sources pinning the grab on Gazal Corp, the Australian distributor of brands PVH Corp.-owned Calvin Klein and Tommy Hilfiger.

Gazal Corp chief Patrick Robinson, a former senior executive at department store major David Jones, could not be contacted for comment.

The other potential investors churning the rumour mill are Solomon Lew and the magnate’s Premier Investments, as well as Gerry Harvey, founder of furniture and electrical retail chain, Harvey Norman.

Before the sale, Highclere served as Oroton’s fourth biggest shareholder after the founding Lane family, Caledonia Funds Management chief investment officer Will Vicars and IOOF Holdings. The British fund took a majority stake in 2015, when Oroton shares were flushing between A$2.12 and $2.69 each.

The news comes one month after Oroton Group appointed investment bank Moelis & Co to conduct a strategic review and consider other options including a sale, a capital raising or refinancing of debt facilities after receiving approaches from potential buyers.

OrotonGroup issued its second profit downgrade in five months in May, warning that earnings would dive 75 per cent this year. 

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 # Calvin Klein,# David Jones,# Oroton,# PVH,# Tommy Hilfiger

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