Online retailer Kogan.com has acquired the intellectual property of Dick Smith for an undisclosed sum from Ferrier Hodgson, the troubled company’s receivers and managers. Kogan will operate Dick Smith as an online store separate to its own from 1 June 2016, following a transition period that will see the closure of the company’s bricks and mortar network.
The company’s intellectual property includes the Dick Smith brand and trademarks, customer databases, and its online business across Australia and New Zealand.
Ruslan Kogan, founder of Kogan.com, said in a statement that he was thrilled to be able to keep Dick Smith, an “iconic Australian brand,” alive and Australian-owned and run.
“We will invest in building and nurturing the Dick Smith community, and honour the great legacy of this Australian business,” he said.
“I remember as a kid always visiting Dick Smith to look for parts to upgrade my computer. 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.”
James Stewart, the receiver for Dick Smith Electronics, said that Kogan’s acquisition followed a “thorough process with multiple bidding parties.”
“As Australia’s largest pureplay online retail website, Kogan.com is a natural and logical owner of the Dick Smith online business and we are particularly pleased that the Dick Smith brand will continue under its stewardship,”
The acquisition comes two months after Dick Smith went into receivership and announced the closure of its retail stores, with a furore erupting after customers who had received gift cards for Christmas were told they were worthless.
Kogan, at this time, offered to honour these gift cards with a swap program, writing on LinkedIn, “It’s a sign of the changing retail landscape that has more and more Aussies turning online for the latest products at the best prices. It’s a bittersweet situation. On one hand, we love competition — it gets us out of bed in the morning. On the other hand, Kogan.com is proud to have played a significant part in creating more efficiency in the industry and driving down prices for shoppers, which has had a noticeable effect on many large retailers, past and present.”
The decline of Dick Smith can be linked back to 2012, when the company’s previous owner Woolworths sold Dick Smith to private equity firm Anchorage Capital for a figure reported to be around $90 million. In 2013 Anchorage Capital listed the company on the stock exchange for $520 million in what has been called “the greatest public equity heist of all time”, with the company going into receivership last December with debts of $390 million.
Customers whose information is currently held by Dick Smith will be given the option of having their details removed before the transfer to new owners Kogan, while those who provided information after the company went into receivership on January 4 will not have that information disclosed to Kogan.
Image: Ruslan Kogan. Source: Supplied.