Billionaire Andrew Forrest is positioned for a potential BWX takeover as the struggling beauty group faces the prospect of being forced to buy out celebrity Zoë Foster Blake’s skincare brand for a price that exceeds its own valuation.
Forrest’s private investment group Tattarang announced Wednesday that it has increased its stake in BWX to 19.9 percent — just below the threshold it would require to launch a full takeover bid for the company. The stake increase comes after Tattarang helped the company raise money to pay off its debts and ease the bank covenants on its loans.
BWX said last week it will reduce the book value of its assets, including its 51 percent stake in Foster Blake’s Go-To brand, sell underperforming companies and sell its entire board of non-executive directors, including chairman Ian Campbell. will fire.
Tattarang gets a seat on the company’s board. But chief investment officer John Hartman would not be drawn to any further plans the fund has for BWX.
“BWX is a long-term investment for Tattarang and we are proud to support a growing Australian company manufacturing here in Australia,” he said.
Entrepreneur and author Foster Blake made headlines last year when BWX — the company behind consumer skincare brands like Sukin — agreed to acquire 51.1 percent of her company Go To for $89.9 million.
The deal included an option to sell the rest of the company to BWX as early as September 2024. The value of the option is on BWX’s accounts at $93 million, but the sale price is dependent on a valuation of the Go-To business at the time. time. BWX was up 16 percent, closing at 78¢ on Wednesday, giving it a market cap of $143 million.
BWX CEO Rory Gration told investors last week that Foster Blake’s option to sell the remaining 49.9 percent of Go-To to BWX was one of the crucial reasons for the drastic restructuring plan.
“That’s a critical reason to reduce net debt as quickly as possible,” Gration said. “We can’t just ignore it and deal with it in two years.”