Godfreys board resigns; Arcade takes control

John Johnston, the 99-year-old co-founder of Godfreys, wins control of vacuum retailer.

John Johnston, the 99-year-old co-founder of Godfreys, has gained control of vacuum cleaner retailer Godfreys.

On Monday 21 May, Arcade Finance – the company in which Johnston used to launch his all-cash takeover bid last month – announced it had acquired a relevant interest of 65 per cent of Godfrey’s shares, giving it a controlling interest in the vacuum cleaner retailer.

Its takeover offer, which was increased to 33.5 cents per share, is now unconditional.

Following the announcement, Godfreys CFO Andrew Ford and board members Brendan Fleiter; Penny Burke; Kathy Gramp and Sue Morphet resigned from their positions, effective Tuesday 22 May.

Grant Hancock, who is a director of Arcade Finance, has been appointed director of the Godfreys board.

Nicholas Stretch from Dentons Corporate Group has been appointed as an independent non-executive director and chairman of the company’s board, effective Thursday 24 May 2018.

Stretch has been in legal practice for more than 30 years with experience in mergers and acquisitions, in both the public and private sectors.

Godfreys announced earlier this month like-for-like sales dropped 27 per cent compared to the same time last year, with year to date like-for-like sales also down 7.8 per cent compared to last year.

The retailer attributed the sales decline to changes made to its television advertising campaign in April and May, designed to reduce the company’s reliance on current discount and sales-based approach by focusing more on product features and benefits.

Godfreys said the marketing changes “have not resonated with Godfreys existing customer base and as such the company as reverted to the previous television advertising approach”. The retailer expects underlying EBITDA for FY18, before restructuring and one-off costs to be approximately $3.5 million.


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