$100m tip for label

Outback outfitter R.M.Williams, owned by former News Ltd chief Ken Cowley, is believed to be up for sale and could fetch a price of up to $100 million as several local and international fashion brands circle the famous Australian label.

Outback outfitter R.M.Williams, owned by former News Ltd chief Ken Cowley, is believed to be up for sale and could fetch a price of up to $100 million as several local and international fashion brands circle the famous Australian label.

Founded in 1932 by Reginald Murray "R. M." Williams, the brand is exported to more than a dozen countries and operates 50 shops in Australia and two in London and New York.

R.M.Williams is available at more than 900 stockists around the globe and has retail space in numerous Myer department stores across Australia.

After a series of ownership structures, including a public listing, Mr Cowley paid about $12.5 million to buy out minority shareholders in a deal that valued R.M.Williams at $26 million.

"To ensure the future development of R.M.Williams domestically and internationally, Mr Cowley is now assessing external commercial growth and expansion plans," the company said.

It is believed several international fashion houses could be interested in the group, including LVMH, while Solomon Lew's cashed-up Premier Investments could also be a buyer.

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