Iconic Aussie brand takes an international flavour

Toowoomba Regional Council deputy-mayor Mike Williams.
Toowoomba Regional Council deputy-mayor Mike Williams. Bev Lacey

TOOWOOMBA Regional Council deputy-mayor Mike Williams believes the decision by iconic Australian company R.M. Williams to align itself with an international conglomerate would open some big doors on the world stage.

Earlier this week, R.M.Williams owner and chairman Ken Cowley announced L Capital Asia, a private equity fund sponsored by Moet Hennessy and Louis Vuitton, had acquired a 49.9% share in the company.

The company, better known as LVMH, is a multi-national luxury goods conglomerate based in Paris, France.

The deal to purchase the 49.9% stake in the iconic brand was rumoured to be about $100 million.

Mr Williams, who is the son of the late R.M. Williams, said he hoped the company would not lose its Australian roots.

"Ken Cowley was a personal friend of my father," Mr Williams said.

"He has done a fantastic job in continuing the company's legacy.

"Long term I see it as being a very good thing for the company," he said.

Mr Williams said his family has not held an interest in the iconic company for about 26 years.

"Our family was brought out in an aggressive takeover in 1987," he said.

"There has been a lot of water under the bridge since then.

"I still have an association with the brand through my clothing store in Toowoomba."

Mr Williams said he hoped the company would continue his father's legacy.

"The R.M. Williams brand has always been about the Australian culture," he said.

"I hope they do not lose sight of that."

R.M.Williams and L Capital Asia will complete the formal transaction by mid-May 2013 at which time new board members will be announced.

Topics:  louis vuitton purchase rm williams toowoomba

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.