Oroton Acquisition and Restructure

Luxury fashion retailer Oroton is set for better days after an entity controlled by major Oroton shareholder, Will Vicars, completed the acquisition of Oroton Group. The Australian icon fell into administration in November 2017. Earlier this year, Oroton and Vicar’s Manderrah Pty Ltd entered a deed of company arrangement (DOCA) which was implemented last Friday 3 August.

The acquisition by Manderrah means that the positions of over 500 Australian retail and support staff will be safe and that the relationships with key suppliers, landlords and other stakeholders will remain intact. Along with the acquisition, Oroton announced Sophie Holt as the Creative Director and Ross Lane (grandson of the company’s founder Boyd Lane) to continue as Oroton CEO under the new ownership structure. Lane will also continue as a  Director on the Oroton Board,  joined by Vicars, Holt and Matthew Moses (who will assume the role of Non-Executive Chairman). John Schmoll and Maria Martin will leave the Oroton Board.

Holt was previously the Creative Director and Managing Director of Country Road, credited for much of the brand’s resurgence under her guidance. “I’m  excited  for the opportunity to create a  new contemporary perspective that will write a new chapter in Oroton’s history,” Holt said of her appointment.

Under the creative direction of Holt, Oroton received global attention after Meghan Markle was spotted with an Oroton Avalon Stripe Crossbody Bag from the brand’s Autumn 2018 collection earlier this year.

“I am very pleased to have Sophie Holt take the creative helm to direct a new contemporary vision for the brand,” said CEO Ross Lane. “Under the new ownership structure, our resources are totally focused on repositioning our iconic Oroton brand as a major player in the fashion accessory market.”

“This is a pivotal moment for the brand as it celebrates its 80th anniversary this year,” a spokesperson for Vicars said. “Australians have a deep emotional connection to Oroton and we will invest in this brand to ensure it remains as one of Australia’s most iconic and desired luxury fashion brands. We will nourish the business through investment in talent, design and omnichannel capability whilst streamlining operations to make it more agile and innovative as it becomes a single brand entity for the first time in 40 years.”

In what has been a tumultuous year for Oroton and many other Australian brands, it is hoped that this acquisition will take the brand from strength to strength, benefiting not only the company but the Australian retail landscape.

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