No real bidders have emerged for the Dick Smith retail chain with both private equity firms and overseas investors failing to put in “realistic” bids for the retail chain that is now under administration.
A major sticking point has been the estimated $50M that is needed to restock the struggling chain and the exit of management to run a restructured operation.
Insiders are tipping that a move will begin next week to start closing stores with the business set to be wound up and placed into liquidation.
Some store leases could be taken over by other retailers these include the Move stores and some New Zealand stores.
Another sticking point is that several large suppliers have said that they will “not” support a restructured group on the basis that the cost of servicing an additional supplier is “not worth the investment”.
A former senior Samsung executive said “The last thing Australia needs is another consumer electronics retailer. By consolidating around the likes of JB Hi Fi, The Good Guys and Harvey Norman manufacturers can cut their operational costs, reduce their exposure while building their relationship with these key retailers”.
“The exit of Dick Smith from the market could lead to retrenchments among vendors who had heavy exposure to Dick Smith, this could include account managers and merchandisers”.
“Another problem for manufacturers is that the Dick Smith brand is seriously damaged and there is no evidence that consumers will shop at a rejuvenated Dick Smith as a result brands like Samsung, Panasonic, Apple, Google, Lenovo and Microsoft don’t want to be associated with a failed retail brand”.
One private equity investor, who decided not to submit an expression of interest, argued this latest turnaround at Dick Smith necessitated a “rebuild from the ground-up”.
Ferrier Hodgson management said that they want to sell the chain in one line.
Anchorage bought Dick Smith for $94m in 2012 from Woolworths and floated it at the end of 2013 for $520m. Upon its collapse, Dick Smith was valued by the market at $84m.