Billionaire Andrew Forrest is reportedly in talks to take over David Jones after another year proves unsuccessful for the business.
His private investment company Tattarang, confirmed to The Australian that they are in talks with Woolworth Holdings’, the company who owns all David Jones stores.
The news comes after the companies annual report.
In results from last financial year, David Jones reported that sales fell by 2.6 per cent from $2.1 billion to $2.058 billion in the first half of 2022.
Although a loss was recorded, Woolworths Group CEO Roy Bagattini said that David Jones outperformed in the second half of 2022 growing 4.3 per cent.
“We have delivered the healthiest balance sheet in almost a decade, double-digit profit growth supported by strong momentum in Australia and signs of the turnaround of fashion, beauty and home, and the return of excess cash to our shareholders.
“I firmly believe that we have proven ourselves to be a resilient organisation that is focused on formulating clear strategies and executing against them.
“We are on track to rebuild our financial credentials, drive long-term value creation, and restore our business to its rightful place in the hearts and minds of all our stakeholders.”
Under the South African conglomerate, 50 David Jones stores operate throughout Australia and New Zealand while other clothing brands such as Country Road, Mimco, Trenery, Witchery and Politix also fall under their umbrella.
Forrest’s Tattarang is focused on buying back or helping to nurture Australian businesses.
In 2020 they bought R.M Williams and have also purchased stakes in Bega Cheese and cosmetic company BWX which has brands like Sukin, Andalou, Mineral Fusion USPA and Nourished Life skin care.
They also recently became the biggest shareholder in shipbuilder Austal.