Retail giant Harvey Norman has paid $55 million for stock and stores from in-receivership electrical and electronics retailer Clive Peeters, all but sealing the fate of the struggling chain.
Harvey Norman issued an ASX announcement today saying that it had purchased Clive Peeters stores, stock and operating processes for $55 million.
Clive Peeters, which operates stores under its own name and the Rick Hart marque, went into receivership in May following a difficult period which included revelations of a $20 million embezzlement scandal involving one of its financial directors.
The announcement did not specify how many Clive Peeters stores would remain open or whether the brand will ultimately be maintained. Previous acquisitions by Harvey Norman, such as the Megamart and Vox chains, have resulted in stores being rebranded as Harvey Norman outlets.
Receiver Phil Carter of PPB said that a further announcement with additional details would be made next week, but emphasised that few jobs would be lost.
"Under the terms of the sale, Harvey Norman has agreed to provide continued employment to the vast majority of the very loyal Clive Peeters and Rick Hart employees," he said.
Clive Peeters currently has 38 stores in operation, after six were closed by PPB last month.
Potential candidates for closure would include those which operate in competition to existing Harvey Norman stores in "mega-outlet" locations such as Belrose in Sydney.