Industry / Retail

Australian Jeweler Michael Hill Buys Local Rival


Michael Hill International, the publicly traded jewelry retailer based in Brisbane, Australia, has agreed to purchase Bevilles, a rival Australian jewelry chain with 26 stores.

The price was 45 million Australian dollars, or approximately U.S. $30.3 million. The deal is expected to close in the current quarter, pending regulatory approval.

In a statement, Michael Hill CEO and managing director Daniel Bracken called the value-oriented Bevilles a “highly complementary strategic fit” for Michael Hill, which has “elevated” its offerings.

“We’ve stepped away from the mid-market, but we see that there’s still a big opportunity at that end of the market,” Bracken told the Australian Financial Review.

The two companies “operate with significantly differentiated [average transaction values], based on their distinct brand positioning and customer segment,” added a company statement, which said Michael Hill expects to “‘flip’ selected Michael Hill stores into Bevilles network where the location is no longer suited for Michael Hill’s elevated brand and product offering.”

Bevilles primarily sells gold and silver jewelry, whereas most of Michael Hill’s sales involve diamonds, it said.

When the acquisition is complete, Michael Hill will have 174 stores in Australia, plus 47 stores in New Zealand and 86 in Canada. (Michael Hill’s 10-year attempt to establish a U.S. division ended in 2018.)

Post-acquisition, Michael Hill hopes to expand the Bevilles chain to 80 to 100 stores across Australia by fiscal year 2028 and bring the brand to New Zealand and Canada. It expects the acquisition to be immediately profitable.

Michael Hill has also arranged a two-year ambassadorial arrangement with Bevilles CEO Michelle Stanton, a member of its founding family. Current Bevilles employees will be offered new employment contracts with Michael Hill.

Bevilles dates back to 1934. After filing for administration in 2014, it has recently enjoyed a comeback, opening nine stores in the past five years.

(Photo courtesy of Michael Hill International)

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By: Rob Bates

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