RAGTRADER:  Tracey McEldowney

Victorian wholesaler Pacific Apparel Solutions (PAS) has purchased Sydney-based company The Hopkins Group for an undisclosed sum.

The sale, agreed last week (April 12), includes all stock and inventory but excludes the group’s Alexandria-based building, which is owned by a private investor.

Under the conditions of the settlement, The Hopkins Group – which produces labels including Marco Polo, Capital M and Sirocco – will continue trading under its own name and all Hopkins’ 30-plus staff will be retained. It is understood several aspects of the company’s “back office” operations may change in the future with functions such as freight services, insurance providers and marketing services being reviewed.

The acquisition is the fourth major purchase by PAS in the past 18 months following its buy-out of the Yarra Trail business in late 2004, Melbourne-based company Breakaway (whose main labels include Black Pepper and Yvonne Black) in March 2005 and Designworks (which includes the World Industries and Anger Management brands) in November.

PAS CEO Eric Morris said he anticipated the acquisition would increase the group’s overall sales figures by as much as 20 per cent.

“The business model we follow means we only buy successful businesses. There’s a lot of merit in that because you can build a very strong group without having to put resources to bring a brand back up to speed.”

Morris said the purchase would make PAS, which supplies Myer, David Jones, Target and about 1600 Australian boutiques, one of the “largest wholesale apparel companies” in the Australian market.

With a clear agenda to expand the company’s operations, Morris said PAS was currently in negotiations with several companies and would examine potential acquisitions on a case by case basis.


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