Australia's OrotonGroup explores options after expressions of interest


UPDATE 1-Australia's OrotonGroup explores options after expressions of interest

(Adds details on strategic options being explored)
    June 20 (Reuters) - Australia'sOrotonGroup Ltd <ORL.AX>, a
maker of luxury handbags, said on Tuesday it has received
expressions of interest that could involve a sale of the company
and plans to begin a formal process to explore its options.
    The interest comes after it hired investment bank Moelis &
Co in May to run a strategic review.
    "Following that announcement, numerous parties have
expressed interest in exploring certain strategic options which
may involve a sale, refinancing of debt facilities or
recapitalisation," it said in a statement.
    It added that it may invite additional parties to
participate in the process.
    The company, which also has a joint venture with U.S.
clothing brand Gap <GPS.N> in Australia, has been hammered by
fierce competition from international rivals like Coach <COH.N>,
and said "market conditions remain very competitive and
challenging, and difficult to forecast."
    Oroton's shares rose 4.4 percent on Tuesday after the
announcement, giving the company a market value of A$45 million.
    It also said it has received up to A$3 million in credit
support from J. Will Vicars, one of its major shareholders and
former director and is in talks with long time lender, Westpac
Banking Corp <WBC.AX>, over the terms of a A$35 million facility
that expires in April 2018.
    Oroton, which began in 1938 as an international fashion
textile importer, left its earnings guidance unchanged. It has
forecast full-year earnings before interest, tax, depreciation
and amortisation at A$2 million to A$3 million ($1.5 million-
$2.3 million).
($1 = 1.3180 Australian dollars)

 (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Sonali
Paul and Edwina Gibbs)


This article appears in: Politics , World Markets , Stocks
Referenced Symbols: COH , GPS , ORL , WBC

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