KUBA set to save Napoleon

KUBA Investments is set to buy Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics, which went into liquidation in January, and save over 250 employees’ jobs.

If approved next week by creditors who are owed more $20 million, the deal will see the private investment company take control of the cosmetics retailer through a deed of company arrangement (DOCA) which will allow the cosmetics retailer to “continue to exist” and result in “a better return to creditors” than if it is liquidated.

KUBA is led by Livia Wang, the managing director of Access Brand Management (a global brand management company well known for its success in China) and Henry Lee, a retail executive who has managed a number of Australian brands including Witchery and Marcs.

Announcing the proposed deal, Simon Cathro from Worrells Solvency Accountants said the administrators had completed their investigations and recoveries “and with the support of [Napoleon Perdis] employees, resellers, and other key stakeholders” were able to trade the business profitably during the administration period while undertaking “critical steps to right size the business”.

He said the administrators conducted an expedited and intensive global sale process, looking to identify a potential buyer for the business with the goal of allowing it to continue as a going concern.

“We received a lot of interest in the business but ultimately have negotiated terms that will enable the business to continue, with KUBA Investments,” he said.

Cathro added that Napoleon and Soula-Marie Perdis have indicated their support for the DOCA and have agreed to a transfer of their shares to KUBA as part of the proposal.

“The DOCA will also see Napoleon and Soula-Marie Perdis continue to bring their creative expertise to the business … and continue in roles that will ensure the brand continues to thrive and grow.”

Wang said KUBA will leverage off the restructure undertaken by Worrells and continue “to work closely with Napoleon, and the teams, to build the brand both in Australia and overseas”.

“KUBA’s investment will ensure loyal customers can continue to purchase Napoleon Perdis in over 700 store fronts and keeps more than 250 existing staff members in employment.”

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