Struggling Australian bootmaker R.M. Williams has been picked up by investment firm Tattarang, returning the business to local hands.
Dr. Andrew Forest and Nicola Forest, owners of Tattarang, said R.M. Williams is a quintessential Australian brand, and that they are excited to support the business’ staff.
“Andrew and I want to continue the legacy of this great company, and that means continuing to employ and support the Australians that have built and grown the brand,” Nicola Forest said.
“By bringing R.M. Williams back into Australian hands, we will ensure the Australian craftmanship continues to be loved and worn all around the world.”
Tatterang is one of Australia’s largest private investment groups and is owned by the Forest family. According to the AFR, the acquisition was worth $190 million.
Raju Vuppalapati, R.M. Williams’ CEO, said the business is incredibly proud of what it was able to do under former-owner L Catterton, and that its repositioning led the brand to the strongest it has been in its 88-year history.
“Our 2019 decision to invest in the second boot line, recruiting and training 100 additional employees in our Salisbury workshop, was an important milestone to enable us to continue the growth momentum,” said Vuppalapati.
“The R.M. Williams team and I look forward to Andrew and Nicola’s stewardship as we enter the next exciting phase of surprising and delighting our consumers with hand-crafted products made in Australia.”