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Australia's OrotonGroup explores options after expressions of interest
[SYDNEY] Australia's OrotonGroup Ltd, a maker of luxury handbags, said on Tuesday it has received expressions of interest that could involve a sale of the company and plans to begin a formal process to explore its options.
The interest comes after it hired investment bank Moelis & Co in May to run a strategic review.
"Following that announcement, numerous parties have expressed interest in exploring certain strategic options which may involve a sale, refinancing of debt facilities or recapitalisation," it said in a statement.
It added that it may invite additional parties to participate in the process.
The company, which also has a joint venture with US clothing brand Gap in Australia, has been hammered by fierce competition from international rivals like Coach, and said "market conditions remain very competitive and challenging, and difficult to forecast." Oroton's shares rose 4.4 per cent on Tuesday after the announcement, giving the company a market value of A$45 million(S$47.3 million).
It also said it has received up to A$3 million in credit support from J Will Vicars, one of its major shareholders and former director and is in talks with long time lender, Westpac Banking Corp, over the terms of a A$35 million facility that expires in April 2018.
Oroton, which began in 1938 as an international fashion textile importer, left its earnings guidance unchanged. It has forecast full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at A$2 million to A$3 million.