Dick Smith’s directors placed the Australian group into voluntary administration and then appointed Ferrier Hodgson receivers James Stewart, Jim Sarantinos and Ryan Eagle, on January 4 this year. Chief executive Nick Abboud tendered his resignation just over a week afterwards, and was replaced in the interim by industry veteran Don Grover.
On January 12, the receivers began advertising in Australia and New Zealand as they sought expressions of interest. The Australian Financial Review has today reported advertisements were also placed in newspapers around Asia.
Stewart told the AFR that Dick Smith could represent a good opportunity for an Asian electronics supplier to gain a retail foothold in Australasia. Ferrier Hodgson says more than 40 expressions of interest were received by January 12.
After the deadline, the receivers will develop a shortlist of interested parties. These will be invited to start due diligence and then submit formal offers. Ferrier Hodgson expects this will continue well into February.
Ferrier Hodgson announced last week that the 27 concession stores at David Jones stores, known as ‘David Jones Electronics Powered by Dick Smith’, were to close. The receivers’ release says the employment of the 181 staff working at the concessions “will be affected” – Dick Smith will attempt to find jobs for them through the company’s wider network.
The relationship between Dick Smith and David Jones will come to an end effective from close of business tomorrow.
Dick Smith is front-footing its financial situation to the public in Australia and New Zealand by advertising a “Receiver’s Sale” campaign, which ends today. It has responded to recent negative publicity by emphasising a cashback promise in marketing:
“For goods sold during the receivership of Dick Smith, you can rely on your consumer guarantee rights. That’s our cash back promise. We will refund your item if we can’t quickly repair or replace it, even if the business closes or is sold.”