Hamilton Locke Assists in Successful Turnaround for Miniso Australia

Hamilton Locke acted for Philip Campbell-Wilson and Said Jahani of Grant Thornton in their capacity as voluntary administrators of Miniso Australia and the turnaround of the Australian arm of the household and consumer goods retailer.  

The turnaround was effectuated via a deed of company arrangement and achieved the preservation of 30 of the 32 stores in Australia. This is a remarkable achievement given current market uncertainty and marks a new beginning for the retailer, by securing a future for the streamlined business, franchisees and jobs for existing employees. Trade continued during the voluntary administration and ultimately generated a $400,000 cash surplus despite temporarily shutting down all stores in Victoria due to lockdown.

In addition to critical landlord and franchisee negotiation, the turnaround strategy involved an application to the Federal Court to switch off the administrators’ personal liability for rental amounts to maximise the chances of a successful deed of company arrangement or recapitalisation of Miniso Australia. This step was of significant relief and pathed the way to the successful bid.

Commenting on the transaction, Nicholas Edwards said: “The successful restructure of Miniso is a great result for the business, multiple independent franchisees and employees. The team at Grant Thornton worked closely with management and the individual store owners to ensure minimal disruption to the broader business and this is reflected in such a positive outcome”. 

Commenting on the transaction, Philip Campbell-Wilson said: “Too often the voluntary administration process results in a dull outcome of shutdowns and redundancies in the retail sector. I was proud to lead a team that utilised it to achieve ongoing employment and franchisee ownership and the resetting of a brand in a difficult market. Nick, Brit and the Hamilton Locke team were key to the outcome as they navigated the difficult legal aspects of liability and time extensions and key documentation requirements”. 

The Hamilton Locke team for the restructuring aspect of the Miniso Australia turnaround was led by partner Nicholas Edwards and assisted by senior associate Monty Loughlin and lawyer Amelia Schubach, while the litigious aspects were led by partner Brit Ibanez and lawyer Emily Pendlebury.