Bapcor sells footwear, resources divisions from Hellaby acquisition

The footwear unit had been up for sale numerous times over the years.

ASX-listed Bapcor has sold its Hannahs, Number 1 Shoes, and Contract Resources businesses to undisclosed buyers and will likely reap about $92 million from the unwanted Hellaby Holdings assets.

The company, which gained the New Zealand resources and footwear divisions when it took over Hellaby earlier this year, said it expects the deals to be completed this month, and that it is still in the process of divesting TBS Group. The Australian firm was only ever interested in Hellaby's auto division, and in August said that while the footwear and resource services divisions had performed well, both were being actively marketed and are at various stages through a potential divestment programme.

In a statement to the ASX, Bapcor said the expected proceeds from the sales, including TBS, "are consistent with Bapcor achieving the value of assets held for sale as disclosed in Bapcor's June 2017 accounts of $92 million."

The footwear unit had been up for sale numerous times over the years as Hellaby held out for an offer that never eventuated. Hellaby had been trying to shed its reputation as a diversified investment firm to focus on long-term positions in the automotive and resources space, but that metamorphosis hit the skids when Bapcor's offer emerged, eventually enticing cornerstone investors including the Green family's Castle Investments.

In the six months ended June 30, the Australian company's group profit, including the former Hellaby assets for sale, rose 23 percent to A$53.7 million on a 48 percent gain in revenue to A$1.01 billion. The board declared a fully franked final dividend of 7.5 Australian cents per share, taking the annual return to 13 cents, 18 percent higher than a year earlier.

Bapcor shares last traded at A$5.20, and have declined 13 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)