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Universal Store acquired by Private Equity Consortium

KPMG announced it has advised leading Australian retailer, Universal Store ( on its sale to a group of private equity investors, alongside its existing management team, led by Alice Barbery.

The acquisition was led by Five V Capital, Catalyst Direct Capital Management and BBRC Worldwide.

Peter Turner, KPMG’s National Head of M&A said; “In the midst of many challenging stories in the retail sector, Universal Store is a shining light. This outcome is a credit to a strong group of management and shareholders who have collectively developed a market leading business. They have been a pleasure to work with.”

Universal Store was founded in 1999 by brothers Greg and Michael Josephson, when the first store was established at Carindale, Brisbane. Today the business is a national retailer with 53 stores in six states, a growing online store and turnover in excess of $100 million.
Universal Store’s clearly defined strategy, proven leadership team, and the way it has focused on customers and embraced technology are key reasons the Consortium purchased the Company.

Alice Barbery, Universal Store’s CEO said she was delighted that KPMG had helped them find partners who have deep experience in the sector and a supportive approach for the continued growth of the business. “We think it’s a great outcome for our business, and positions us well for further growth”; she said.

Alice acknowledged the contribution of her team to the success of the business over recent years. “Our people are the biggest reason for our success, and they remain key to our future”; she said. “We’ve built an exceptional team and in turn we have strong relationships with our key brands and landlords. We have also enjoyed committed and consistent support from our founders and major shareholders over many years, and are deeply appreciative of the Josephson family” she added.

“Looking forward, our strategy remains simple but effective. We are focused on delighting our customers, and further expanding our store network and omni-channel offering to meet their needs. This strategy has delivered us outstanding results over recent years, so our focus is on evolving that strategy, rather than changing it.”

The transaction is expected to complete by the end of October.

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