Seafolly Goes into Voluntary Administration in Australia citing Pandemic Impact
Iconic Australian swim brand Seafolly has gone into voluntary administration citing the “crippling financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Voluntary administration is somewhat similar to the bankruptcy process in the U.S.
The restructuring firm in charge of managing the Seafolly process said it will immediately put the brand up for sale. Until then, it said business will continue as usual.
What’s particularly interesting about Seafolly’s situation is that the brand is owned by a private equity firm backed by luxury company LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton. And it appears L Catterton, the private equity firm, is not willing to rescue the brand.
When L Catterton acquired the controlling stake in Seafolly in 2014, Seafolly had A$100 million in annual revenue.
According to The Australian, L Catterton acquired the stake for A$70 million.
Currently Seafolly has 44 stores throughout Australia and 12 stores overseas. It also has a large global wholesale business.
Seafolly is not the only Australian swim brand that has struggled. Tigerlily, which used to be owned by Billabong, went into voluntary administration in March. Private equity firm Crescent Capital Partners acquired Tigerlily for A$60 million in 2017.
Currently, the Tigerlily website is not operating and has a “We’ll be back soon” message on it.