Country Road has bought Witchery for $172 million from Gresham Private Equity.

The Witchery Group compromises of the Witchery and Mimco brands that has core operations across Australia and New Zealand and smaller operations in Singapore and South Africa. It delivered $266 million in revenue in the 2011 financial year.

Country Road chairman Ian Moir said the acquisition delivers an attractive portfolio of owned brands, greater scale, diversified revenue streams and industry leading margins.

“The acquisition of Witchery Group creates one of Australia’s largest specialty fashion retailers with complementary brands and a strong position in the mid to upper tier specialist retail sector,” he said.

As part of the acquisition, Country Road has announced the following appointments:
–    Ian Nairn, currently the CEO of the Witchery Group, will assume the role of CEO and will be appointed the board
–    David Thomas, the current CFO of Country Road, will assume the role of COO; and
–    Oliver Kysela, currently CFO of Witchery Group, will assume the role of CFO and will be appointed the board.

In addition, Zyda Rylands, an executive director of Witchery, will be appointed to the board.

Meanwhile, Howard Goldberg, the current CEO of Country Road, will be leaving the company upon the completion of the acquisition.

In its 2012 financial year report, Country Road had reported total sales increased by 1.8 per cent on last year to $4.9 million. It expects profit after tax for 2012 financial year to be between $20 million to $21 million, versus the projected $23 million in 2011 financial year.