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Spotlight granted exclusivity to buy Harris Scarfe

Spotlight Group confirmed it has been granted exclusivity to buy DS OpCo Pty Ltd, trading as Harris Scarfe, out of receivership, but said the acquisition is far from a done deal.

“The acquisition of Harris Scarfe would offer Spotlight Group another iconic retail brand and the potential to deepen our market share; it also presents the opportunity to leverage our significant property interests, including Spotlight Property Group and ASX-listed HomeCo,” Spotlight Group’s managing director, Avi Gilboa, said in a statement.

Gilboa said that negotiations with landlords would need to be resolved in the next week if a transaction is to be concluded.

Vaughan Strawbridge, one of the receivers from Deloitte, who was appointed after the business went into voluntary administration in December 2019, said a lot of work was still required to finalise the transaction.

“[W]e will be working with the Spotlight Group and the Harris Scarfe Leadership team to make this happen,” he said.

“We are hopeful all of the 44 stores will be retained under the sale but ultimately, this will be dependent on how the transaction progresses over the next couple of weeks.”

The news comes after a vigorous due diligence process, which saw four parties shortlisted and given access to the key trading records of the business.

Spotlight Group is a family-owned Australasian retailer with a large property portfolio, making it ideally suited to employ the roughly 1300 remaining Harris Scarfe employees and enable future growth for all stakeholders, according to a media release circulated by Deloitte. Inside Retail has contacted Spotlight Group for further comment, but did not receive an immediate reply.

The sale is expected to settle as early as the middle of April.

This story was updated at 16:57 to include comment from Spotlight Group.

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