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    Lovisa buys into South African market

    2019 - 04.21

    Lovisa boss Shane Fallscheer says the deal will make the company the biggest fashion jewellery chain in South Africa. Photo: Anu KumarBrett Blundy’s recently listed fashion jewellery retailer Lovisa Holdings has made its first offshore acquisition, buying a chain of 21 fashion accessory stores in South Africa for $2.2 million.

    The acquisition, due to be completed on April 1, subject to approval by the Reserve Bank of South Africa, steps up Lovisa’s growth strategy of opening new stores in overseas markets.

    The deal will boost the number of Lovisa stores open by June 2015 to 244, compared with prospectus forecasts of 225 and 220 at the time of the company’s $210 million initial public offer in December.

    The South African stores sell a range of fashion accessories and are similar in size to Lovisa’s existing 50-square metre stores in South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the Middle East.

    “We are very excited by this transaction as it quickly takes us beyond 30 stores in South Africa, positioning us as the largest fashion jewellery retailer in South Africa and giving us a national footprint of stores in what is one of our most successful markets,” said Lovisa chief executive Shane Fallscheer.

    “This places Lovisa well ahead of our growth forecasts and enables us to continue to look for opportunities in South Africa whilst moving our focus to other growth markets, both company-owned and franchised,” he said.

    South Africa has been a happy hunting ground for several Australian clothing and accessories retailers, including Country Road and the Cotton On Group.

    The new stores are expected to contribute earnings before interest and tax of $1.75 million in 2016 and there will be no tax payable on these earnings due to accumulated tax losses of $850,000.

    Most of the new stores will be rebranded and refitted soon after the acquisition, but about five stores that cross over Lovisa’s existing stores will be closed.

    Lovisa will pay $2 million upfront and another $250,000 in 12 months, funded from loan facilities.

    The company, which raised $110 million in the IPO, reaffirmed its full-year prospectus forecasts last month after stronger-than-expected trading in the December half.

    Net profit for the six months ending December jumped 66.2 per cent to $12.3 million, representing 75 per cent of the full-year forecast compared with guidance of 73.2 per cent for the half year. Sales rose 33.3 per cent to $73.3 million, representing 54.4 per cent of full-year forecasts, compared with guidance of 54.1 per cent.

    Lovisa designs, develops, sources and sells all of its Lovisa branded products.

    The shares were trading at $2.40 on Thursday morning, ahead of their $2 issue price.

    Mr Blundy’s BB Retail Capital has retained a 41 per cent stake in Lovisa after the IPO.

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    Abbott government rising star Josh Frydenberg reveals switch on gay marriage position

    2019 - 04.21

    Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg. Photo: Andrew MearesSame-sex marriage debate to reigniteNumbers shift towards gay marriage 

    One of the Abbott government’s rising stars has thrown his support behind the campaign to legalise gay marriage, declaring it will “become part of the Australian way of life” because community attitudes are shifting.

    Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who is often touted as a future Liberal Party leader, said his views had “evolved” over time. He is now openly calling for Prime Minister Tony Abbott to allow Liberal MPs a free vote on the issue.

    “I think if you look at the history of movements such as this, I think one thing is certain that over time, gay marriage will become part of the Australian way of life,” he said.

    He cited the significant movement internationally, with 17 countries legalising same sex marriage over recent years including comparable nations such as Canada, New Zealand and Britain.

    “Therefore I think it’s appropriate that when this issue comes before the Liberal party room that we do have a conscience vote.”

    Mr Frydenberg said he had been moved by personal stories he had encountered, including one female couple who lobbied him for change.

    “The meeting ended in tears and that did have an effect on me,” he said.

    Mr Frydenberg’s intervention is significant given his seniority. In December, he moved from a parliamentary secretary position into the junior ministry.

    Ministers are not allowed to break party lines even though a Liberal MP is technically free to vote however they choose on any issue. A conscience vote would free ministers, including Mr Frydenberg and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, from that obligation.

    Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has a bill to legislate same-sex marriage in the Senate and this week brought forward debate because he was given an undertaking that Liberal MPs would raise it in Tuesday’s party room meeting. The meeting passed with no debate.

    Senator Leyonhjelm will not bring on a vote until he believes there is enough support in Parliament to pass the legislation.

    Follow Latika Bourke on Facebook.

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    Australia’s self belief shines through in Germany draw

    2019 - 04.21

    As it happenedSocceroos draw 2-2

    Winning is contagious and there is no greater builder of confidence than success – as the Socceroos continue to show.

    Twelve months ago Ange Postecoglou’s team was losing pre-World Cup friendlies in London to the likes of Ecuador.

    Now, having put up a strong performance in Brazil and won the Asian Cup on home soil, they are capable of going to the home of the world champions, Germany, and taking it right up to the best team on the planet, as they did early on Thursday morning when they came from behind to lead, and then draw, with the Germans.

    There was nothing fluky about this 2-2 result and in truth with better finishing the Socceroos could have put the game to bed some time before Lukas Podolksi spared Germany’s blushes with an 81st minute leveller.

    Australia almost always (save for those horrific displays against Brazil and France that resulted in 6-0 losses 18 months ago) plays with character and commitment.

    It showed its traditional virtues once more this morning  by shrugging off the concession of an early goal to regroup, take the game to the world champions and, for much of this fixture, look the likely winners.

    Of course Germany have been going through a rocky period since their stunning success in Brazil and their form in European championship qualifiers has not been what might be expected, with draws against Ireland and a loss to Poland amongst recent results.

    And Jogi Low picked an experimental side for this game with a number of fresh faces as he seeks to refine his squad for the Euros next year and the World Cup in 2018.

    But that takes nothing away from the merit of Australia’s performance. Whichever side Germany puts out is strong. It is a powerhouse of world football precisely because it has such strength in depth with a number of players who would be starters in many other international teams.

    And Postecoglou’s hand was not completely full either. Talisman Tim Cahill was a late withdrawal, while regulars Massimo Luongo and Trent Sainsbury were not in the starting line up either.

    Postecoglou received any number of plaudits – justifiably – when he guided the Socceroos to that Asian Cup triumph in Sydney six weeks ago.

    His aim was not just to win, but to develop an Australian style; one based on pace, power, pressing, passing and, crucially, self belief. Postecoglou wants to develop a squad where the parts are interchangeable; where any one player can come in and do the job of another without the collective losing any quality or efficiency.

    He encourages his teams to compete, but also to play football and back themselves, to go into any match believing that they can win even if they are up against the world champions, as they working this morning.

    It’s a template that is working, but one that will require continual refinement as new players come in and old stars depart.

    Postecoglou and all those within the camp have been reluctant to rest on their laurels since the Asian Cup, which is now seen as the starting point for what the coach and the country hopes will be a new era of success for a new golden generation.

    With the World Cup qualifiers now on the horizon the signsare good. But Postecoglou, more than anyone, will not be content unless there is continuous improvement. He has certainly created the mindset within the squad for Australia to believe it can compete against anyone, including the very best.

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    Matthew Wade shows off arm tattoo of Phillip Hughes

    2019 - 04.21

    Matthew Wade has paid tribute to his late friend and teammate Phillip Hughes with a tattoo of the Australian batsman on his right forearm.

    The Victorian wicket-keeper, who in his last Test match played alongside Hughes in India 2013, showed off his new ink after Victoria’s Sheffield Shield victory at Bellerive Oval on Wednesday.

    Hughes passed away in November two days after being a struck by a short-pitched delivery during a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG.

    His death shocked the cricketing world, as hundreds of current and former players paid their respect at Hughes’ funeral in his hometown of Macksville.

    Wade showed his tattoo to Fairfax Media reporter Jesse Hogan, who then tweeted the image which garnered a positive response on social media.

    The main part of Wade’s tattoo is of Hughes’ face, but the wicketkeeper’s newest body artwork also features the SCG clock face.

    In a fitting tribute to his close friend, the time on the clock reads 4:08 – the same as Hughes’ Test playing number.

    Wade, who has played 12 Tests and 47 one-day internationals for Australia, was close by Hughes’ side at St Vincent’s hospital in the days after he was felled by a bouncer.

    Hogan’s tweet was shared around the Twittersphere, with Brian Lara adding that if Australia were able to defeat India at the SCG on Thursday and then New Zealand on Sunday, it would be a fitting tribute to their fallen teammate.  Triumphant #[email protected] capt, @MatthewWade13, shows off his latest tattoo: tribute to the late Phillip Hughes pic.twitter苏州美甲美睫培训学校/WBpS4Usu4f — Jesse Hogan (@Jesse_Hogan) March 25, 2015

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    Greg Norman starts $96m Great White Shark Investment Fund

    2019 - 04.21

    Keeping the ball rolling: Former champion golfer Greg Norman has started his own investment fund. Photo: Anthony Johnson Golfing great Greg Norman is branching out from golf course design and wine to start his own asset-based debt-lending fund with $US75 million ($96 million) in capital for business investments.

    Great White Shark Opportunity Fund is part of Norman’s Great White Shark Enterprises, which includes a variety of businesses, including eyewear, clothing, premium beef, event management, and real estate development.

    60-year old Norman, a World Golf Hall of Fame member with 91 worldwide victories, has been dubbed “The Great White Shark” for his blond hair and aggressive golf style.

    He will lead the investment fund with three employees of his company – David Chessler, Jack Schneider and President Bart Collins, Norman’s long-time business manager and agent.

    Chessler, who will serve as the fund’s chief investment officer and managing director, has teamed with Norman on investments in recent years and managed a $US100 million portfolio of senior secured loans as managing director of Sarasota, Florida-based DC Leasing and Jordyn Holdings.

    Norman’s new fund will invest in public and private US-based and foreign businesses. The fund will target companies with less than $US25 million in revenues that are profitable, and with a good management track record, investing between $US1 million to $US10 million, according to the fund’s website.

    Greg Norman is also on the advisory board of Evans & Partners, manager of the NRL’s $50 million sustainability/future fund.


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