Business

Dick Smith electronics brand saved by Kogan.com

Ruslan Kogan Photos Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan said he was thrilled to keep the Dick Smith brand alive

The brand behind struggling Australian electronics retailer Dick Smith has been scooped up by online retail entrepreneur Ruslan Kogan.

However, Mr Kogan will only revive the firm's online retail business, not its physical stores.

Dick Smith, which employs about 2,500 staff in Australia and New Zealand, went into receivership in January.

No details were available about the future of the retailer's staff, a Kogan.com spokesperson told the BBC.

Dick Smith Holdings has some 360 stores across Australia and New Zealand and receivers Ferrier Hodgson said there would be "a transition period" during the closure of its bricks and mortar network .

Kogan.com, Australia's biggest online-only retailer, will operate the new online business from 1 June 2016. It did not disclose how much it paid for the company.

Image copyright Sergio Dionisio
Image caption The electronics giant was founded in 1968 in Sydney by entrepreneur Dick Smith

Receivers Ferrier Hodgson said last month that Dick Smith Holdings owed 390m Australian dollars ($271m; £187m) to creditors.

Aussie owned and run

The founder and chief executive of Kogan.com said he was "thrilled" to be able to keep the Dick Smith brand alive and to keep it "Aussie owned and run".

"I remember as a kid always visiting Dick Smith to look for parts to upgrade my computer," Mr Kogan said.

"There is a strong history of passion in the Dick Smith community for how technology can improve our lives, and we look forward to helping make it more affordable and accessible for all."

No interest earlier

The receivers said they had received "a significant number of expressions of interest" for the business, including from local and overseas buyers, but that that none of the bids had been acceptable.

"The offers were either significantly below liquidation values or highly conditional or both," said Ferrier Hodgson's James Stewart.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Dick Smith electrical stores are a household name in Australia and New Zealand

Several big brand names in Australia, such as Harvey Norman, had said they were not interested in buying any parts of Dick Smith.

The electronics giant was founded in 1968 by entrepreneur Dick Smith - who was at the time a young electronics technician. He started the company as a car radio installation business in Sydney.

It was later taken over by Australian supermarket giant Woolworths, which expanded the company quickly.

Anchorage Capital Partners then bought the firm in 2012 and it was listed in Australia in December 2013. Its shares were halted from trade earlier this year.

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