Wesfarmers’ spending spree continues with $230m deal

Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott. Picture: AAP Image/Tony McDonough
Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott. Picture: AAP Image/Tony McDonough

WESFARMERS has continued its post-Coles spending spree with the $230 million acquisition of online retailer Catch Group.

The Perth-based conglomerate told the ASX on Wednesday that the Catch of the Day operator would be an independent unit, albeit under the oversight of Kmart Group managing director Ian Bailey.

“Catch Group has a high calibre management team and a leading e-commerce platform with quality fulfilment assets,” Wesfarmers managing director Rob Scott said.

“This acquisition represents an opportunity to accelerate Wesfarmers and Kmart Group’s digital and e-commerce capabilities whilst continuing to invest in the unique customer and supplier proposition provided by Catch Group.”

The acquisition follows Wesfarmers’ $776 move for lithium developer Kidman Resources and so-far unsuccessful approach for rare earths miner Lynas, funded by last year’s demerger and spinoff of supermarket giant Coles and other assets.

Mr Bailey indicated that he would use insights from Catch’s technology platform and data capabilities to boost Wesfarmers’ other retail operations.

“We are excited to work with the Catch team and look forward to leveraging our capabilities to grow the business and accelerate the customer-driven, omni-channel initiatives across Kmart and Target,” Mr Bailey said.

“This will further drive best practice in supply chain, fulfilment and online execution across our brands, including opportunities for Target to secure online fulfilment capacity and productivity benefits.

“Catch will also benefit from the support of Kmart Group’s scale and capabilities to drive its continued growth in its existing marketplace business.”

At 1058 AEST, Wesfarmers shares were 0.3 per cent higher at $38.67.