Steve Madden up for grabs

Steve_Madden_w250 (1)The Australian arm of US shoe retailer Steve Madden is seeking a buyer after entering voluntary administration earlier this month.

Administrators Ferrier Hodgson were appointed to the business after it fell into financial difficulties as a result of capital shrinkage due to the global credit crisis.

Ferrier Hodgson partners James Stewart and John Lindholm said they were seeking investors to take over the Australian licensee, Steve Madden (Aust), which would continue to operate.

Stewart said the business was forced into administration following a shortfall of working capital. The strength of the brand and its high recall among consumers meant it represented a good buy, he added.

“An opportunity exists for an experienced investor to continue to drive the brand’s penetration in the Australian market.”

New Yorker Steve Madden started the chain in 1990 with $US1100 ($1375) in his bank account, crafting shoe designs from his Queens-based factory.

The company has since turned over more than $US500 million ($615 million) in sales and has expanded into accessories and apparel.

Its Australian presence comprises nine stand-alone stores, eight clearance stores and 18 Myer concessions. Last year the retailer, which employs 200 people in Australia, turned over about $17 million.


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