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Iconic brand returns to Aussie ownership

Lucy Dean
·1-min read
Hugh Jackman is R.M. Williams' global ambassador. Image: R.M. Williams
Hugh Jackman is R.M. Williams' global ambassador. Image: R.M. Williams

Australian bootmaker R.M. Williams has returned to Australian ownership after Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest bought the brand through his investment company, Tattarang.

The mining magnate and his wife Nicola announced the sale on Monday, saying they are “incredibly proud and humbled” to bring the brand back to Australia.

"R.M. Williams is a quintessential Aussie brand with a long and proud history of high-quality Australian craftsmanship,” Forrest said.

Nicola and Andrew Forrest. Image: Hugh Brown.
Nicola and Andrew Forrest. Image: Hugh Brown.

R.M. Williams was founded in 1932 and employs 400 people at its Salisbury workshop in Adelaide and another 500 across the country. It was previously owned by private equity firm L Catterton and posted a $23 million profit in 2019.

The reported $190 million acquisition will also see actor Hugh Jackman score a $10 million boost as Tattarang buys out minority shareholders. The Hollywood actor had a 5 per cent stake in the business.

However, he will remain on as brand ambassador.

“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,” Nicola Forrest said.

“By bringing R.M. Williams back into Australian hands, we will ensure the Australian craftsmanship continues to be loved and worn all around the world.”

R.M. Williams in March announced it was shuttering stores due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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