Money & Banking
Hugh Jackman scores big as iconic brand comes home to Australia
Hugh Jackman is set to pocket a whopping $10 million after mining magnate Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has purchased the iconic Australian bootmaker RM Williams.
Dr Forrest's investment fund Tattarang has bought 100 per cent of the company, and it includes Jackman’s five per cent ownership as a minority shareholders.
It is reported that the sale price was less than half the original asking price for $190 million.
RM Williams had been up for sale for almost 18 months after its Louis Vuitton owned parent company, L Catteron, began seeking buyers.
Andrew Tiggy Forrest and wife Nicola Forrest.
The Western Australian-based mining magnate said he is proud and humbled to be taking the iconic brand back in Australian hands.
“R.M. Williams is a quintessential Aussie brand with a long and proud history of high-quality Australian craftsmanship,” Dr Forrest said in a statement.
“By bringing R.M. Williams back into Australian hands, we will ensure the Australian craftmanship continues to be loved and worn all around the world.
“I've never forgotten the first time I pulled on a pair of RMs. To wear RMs is to wear the boots of the countless hard-working Australians that have come before us.”
His wife Nicola Forrest added “Andrew and I want to continue the legacy of this great company, and that means continuing to employ and support the Australians that have built and grown the brand.”
RM Williams chief executive Raju Vuppalapati said he hoped the business would grow under Dr Forrest's ownership.
“The RM Williams team and I look forward to Andrew and Nicola's stewardship as we enter the next exciting phase of surprising and delighting our consumers with hand-crafted products made in Australia,” he said.
RM Williams was founded in Adelaide in 1932 by bushman and entrepreneur Reginald Murray 'RM' Williams.
The iconic boots are a popular item both locally and overseas, and the brand has stores in New York, London, New Zealand, and Scandinavia.
Jackman will remain involved with RM Williams as an ambassador.
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