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Australian chain Myer buys stake in Sass & Bide

Australian department store chain Myer has bought a 65% stake in luxury womenswear label Sass & Bide for AUD42.3m (£26.5m).

The deal, which is expected to be completed by April, includes a performance bonus based on the brand’s sales results for the 2011 financial year.

The department store said the Sydney-based brand would be launched in around 30 Myer stores over the next 18 months. Myer will also leverage its sourcing, networks and supply chain to help expand the label overseas with new standalone stores. Sass & Bide’s management team will remain in place.

Sarah-Jane Clarke and Heidi Middleton founded Sass & Bide in 1999, as a denim brand and went on to build its reputation for quirky dresses and ready-to-wear.

Sass & Bide generated sales of approximately AUD37m (£23.2m) in 2010 and delivered annual sales growth of 50% year-on-year over the past two years, according to Myer.

Sass & Bide now operates 15 standalone stores in Australia and New Zealand, with wholesale accounts in Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK and the Middle East.

This is Myer’s first acquisition since its IPO in November 2009 and part of its ongoing strategy to introduce new product categories, brands, concepts and concessions.

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