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The founder of failed electronics
retailer Dick Smith has criticised
the private equity firm that
floated the chain.
Dick Smith, who gave his name
to the chain, said that Anchorage
Capital Partners’ $520 million
IPO was drastically over valued
and called on those who had
made money out of the float to
do the honourable thing and
guarantee customers’ deposits,
gift cards and deliveries.
He told news.com .au: “Some of
the people who made a fortune
out of the recent float, they
should pay back those people
who’ve put down deposits. The
company could not possibly
afford to be that indebted, or
have that value on the market.”
Dick Smith was put into
receivership yesterday after a
sales slump that left the firm
with high levels of excess
stock, which had to be heavily
discounted in the lead-up to
Prices were slashed by up to
80% in the fire sale, but it failed
to have the desired effect.
Receiver James Stewart, of
Ferrier Hodgson, said that
vouchers, deposits and deliveries
could not be honoured because
of the financial circumstances of
“A ff ected
become unsecured creditors of
Smith, who sold the business
in 1982, said that there was no
chance of him buying back the
Receivers could struggle to find
a buyer for Dick Smith, with the
firm’s receivership likely to signal
the end of one of Australasia’s
best-known high street brands,
says a retail commentator.
A lending syndicate led by
HSBC and National Australia
Bank appointed receivers Ferrier
Hodgson to the struggling
Dick Smith — which operates
393 stores, 62 of them in New
Zealand, and has 3300 employees
on both sides of the Tasman —
has itself appointed McGrath
Nicol as voluntary administrator.
chairman Rob Murray said
December sales had fallen below
alternate funding, however,
the directors formed the view
that any success in obtaining
alternative funding would not
have been sufficiently timely
to support short-term funding
requirements and allow the
company to order inventory
during the next four to six
weeks,” Murray said.
“ While confident on the long-
term viability of the company, the
directors have been unsuccessful
in obtaining the necessary
support of its banking syndicate
to see it through this period.”
James Stewart said it would be
“ business as usual” at Dick Smith
while a restructuring and sale
process was undertaken.
“ We are immediately calling
for expressions of interest for a
sale of the business as a going
concern,” he said, adding that
employees would continue to be
paid by the receivers. But Chris
Wilkinson, of consultancy First
Retail Group, said he did not
think a buyer would be found.
“The challenge that Dick
Smith’s had is it ’s been in a no-
man’s-land since its rebranding
it just completely lost its
mojo ... This (receivership) has
probably signalled the end for
the brand, that ’s our feeling.”
including JB Hi-Fi could be
interested in acquiring retail
sites, Wilkinson added.
Stewart said the retailer’s New
Zealand business was profitable
and expected to be attractive to
Dick Smith’s local arm reported
a profit of $1.4m in the year to
June 28, down from $3.7m a year
earlier. Sales fell to $179m from
As a whole, the retailer had net
debt of $A41m ($NZ43.7m) as
of June 28.
Profit rose 3.1% to $A43.3m in
the firm’s last financial year.
Dick Smith shares, which have
plunged 72% since the company
downgraded its profit guidance
in October, were suspended
from trading following the
appointment of administrators.
The stock closed at A35.5c
before going into a trading halt
Private equity firm Anchorage
paid $A94m when it purchased
Dick Smith from supermarket
operator Woolworths in 2012.
The retail chain was floated on
the stock market the following
year with a market value of more
than $A500m, which had fallen
to $A84m by the time trading in
the stock was halted on Monday.
PICTURE: Getty Images
Dick Smith sold his electronics firm in 1982 but he still feels an
emotional attachment to it.
finger over woes
Police have praised a woman who
escaped an attempted abduction in rural
Canterbury using self-defence techniques.
The woman was at a recreation area near
Lincoln, about 40 minutes south-west of
Christchurch, at 10pm on December 5,
but left her friends to go to a nearby toilet
Detective senior sergeant David Harvey
said as the victim walked along Lake Road,
a dark-coloured stationwagon slowed down
next to her and the sole occupant called out
Through the open passenger window he
asked her to get in his car and go with him.
“He then stopped the car and approached
her. The victim made it clear that she would
not go with him and walked away from the
man,” Mr Harvey said.
“The man grabbed her wrist and pulled
her back towards the vehicle. The victim
then told the man to let her go and used
self-defence techniques to get away from
him. She heard
leave as she ran
The man is
175cm tall, in
his mid- to
keen to hear from anyone in the area at the
time of the incident or saw a dark-coloured
stationwagon travelling along Lake Road in
the vicinity of Coes Ford,” Mr Harvey said.
Investigations into this incident are
ongoing and police hope the sketch will
help identify the man.
“Everyone has a right to be safe and feel
safe whether at home, at work or socialising
with friends,” Mr Harvey said.
“The courage and bravery of the victim
is to be commended. By speaking out and
reporting the incident to police she has
potentially stopped someone else becoming
“Police encourage anyone out socialising
with friends, whether in the city or rural
areas, to remain aware of their surroundings
and be vigilant if anyone tries to approach
them when they are alone.”
Can you help?
If you recognise the man in the sketch
or were in the area at the time please
call the Adult Sexual Assault team at
Christchurch Central Station on 03 363
Information can also be provided
anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on
0800 555 111.
If you see anyone behaving suspiciously
contact police straight away and always call
111 in an emergency.
A disabled Gisborne man has been
arrested after allegedly driving into a marae,
causing several thousand dollars worth of
Police say the man then attacked a passer-
by’s car and threatened to set himself alight
at a petrol station.
Police allege the 45-year-old drove his
small SUV into the Rangiwaho Marae on
State highway 2, 30km south of Gisborne,
at about 1pm.
Sycamore said the man drove through the
marae door and smashed into the walls
of the wharenui several times, causing
thousands of dollars of damage.
“He also allegedly damaged a nearby house
and shed after he threw bricks through
At some point, the vehicle became stuck
in a ditch and the man, who uses a wheelchair
for mobility, made his way on to SH2.
When a concerned motorist stopped to
help the man, he smashed a wing mirror
from the person’s car, which then drove
Soon after, another person gave the man
a ride to Gisborne and he entered a service
station and left without paying for a pack of
“ When confronted by the station
attendant, the man grabbed a petrol bowser
and threatened to set himself alight,” Mr
“He was located a short time later and
The man, who received medical assistance
by a mental health crisis team, now faces a
raft of charges including criminal damage,
intentional damage, threatening behaviour
and refusing to provide a blood sample.
He is due to appear in Gisborne District
Court on January 11.
Three people have been arrested after
an alleged assault on a young woman in
Mount Eden on Monday night, including
two 14-year-old girls who police believe
were involved in an early morning attack
on a woman at Sylvia Park on Sunday
About 8.15am on Sunday, a woman on her
way to work at Max, a clothing store in the
Sylvia Park shopping centre, was viciously
attacked by a group of teenage girls.
The trio approached the victim and
assaulted her before stealing her car. Two
men were with them but did not participate
in the assault.
At 5.25pm, another young woman was
assaulted on Landscape Road, Mount
“D uring the incident the victim was
allegedly punched in the face and knocked
to the ground while attempts were made
to steal her handbag,” Auckland police
spokeswoman Noreen Hegarty said.
“Those believed to have been responsible
were located a short time later in Clover
Park, south Auckland.
“Police investigating the (Mount Eden)
incident allege two of those arrested — both
14-year-old girls — were involved in the
earlier attack on a young woman in Sylvia
The girls are facing charges of aggravated
robbery and unlawfully taking a motor
vehicle in relation to the earlier incident.
Ms Hegarty said investigations into the
Landscape Road incident were ongoing.
Max director Simon West said his focus
was on ensuring that “one of our valued
team . . . is well cared for and makes a full
“ We are and will continue to work with
various parties to ensure that we get the
best result possible on behalf of the victim
and ensure our team are as safe as possible
in their roles getting to and from work,” he
— N Z ME-New Zealand Herald
Self-defence sees woman escape abduction
The man is described as
175cm tall, in his mid to
late 20s and wearing a
Disabled man smashes into marae, arrested
Girls arrested over mall attack
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