Airlie makes a Premier investment

Airlie Funds Management has emerged as a major shareholder in Just Jeans parent company Premier Investments.

Airlie Funds Management, the boutique fund manager started by former Perpetual head of equities John Sevior last year, has emerged as a major shareholder in Just Jeans' parent company Premier Investments.

Airlie last night declared it had secured a 5.36 per cent stake in Premier -- some 8.3 million shares valued at $65.8 million, based on yesterday's closing price of $7.91 for Premier.

The shares were acquired over the past two months and would rank the fund manager as the third-largest holder of Premier stock, behind Premier chairman Solomon Lew whose family and associated companies control about 41 per cent, and Mr Sevior's former employer Perpetual, which holds 12.1 per cent.

Premier reported profit after tax of $174.5m in fiscal 2013, including a one-off accounting reclassification gain of $105.2 million after tax, compared to the prior year's $68.3 million.

It last month warned of a challenging Australian retail environment this year.

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