Premier Retail CEO steps down as company explores spin-off opportunities

Premier Investments revealed strong numbers in its half year report. Supplied
(Source: Supplied)

Premier Retail CEO Richard Murray has announced his resignation, effective September 15, as parent company Premier Investments undertakes a strategic review to explore the possibility of spinning off one or more of its retail businesses – which include Smiggle, Peter Alexander and apparel brands Just Jeans, Jay Jays, Portmans, Jacqui E and Dotti.

Long-standing company CFO, John Bryce, has been appointed as interim CEO and will continue to fulfil both CEO and CFO responsibilities.

Chairman of Premier Investments, Solomon Lew, thanked Murray on behalf of the board and said the company accepts and understands his decision to step down. Murray has also resigned as executive director of Premier, effective today.

“At this time, it is business as usual. The Premier Board is focused on moving forward with its formal review as announced today, under the strong leadership of Bryce and the senior management team, whilst continuing to focus on the first-rate retail execution that Premier is known for,” Lew said.

The review is intended to evaluate the group’s current corporate, operating and capital structure with the aim of best positioning its brands to take advantage of the opportunities available to them. This could include demerging the company’s retail portfolio into two or more “distinct entities”.

“The decision to undertake the review recognises the increased scale of Premier Retail’s various businesses and the substantial opportunities for each of them,” the company said in an ASX filing.

Australian commercial law firms UBS and Arnold Bloch Leibler have been appointed to oversee and assist in the review process.

The business expects to report $1.64 billion in total sales for FY23, up 9.7 per cent with EBIT in the range between $355 and $357 million. Full-year audited statements will be released at the end of September.

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