As the new year starts its engines, here are three companies to keep an eye on in 2018.

Apparel: Steinhoff Asia Pacific

The retail group, responsible for operating Harris Scarfe, Best & Less and Debenhams in Australia, has called in help. Minter Ellison and Ferrier Hodgson have been appointed to the group to provide legal, financial and corporate advice.

The move comes after its South African-headquartered parent company lost more than $12 billion in market value in recent weeks. Steinhoff International has faced credit strain and the exit of its CEO after an accounting scandal.

Steinhoff Asia Pacific said while the appointment of financial advisers was supported by local lenders, the business is "not in distress."

Accessories: Oroton

After years of profit hits and a descent into administration in late 2017, luxury handbag retailer has been salvaged.

Caledonia Funds Management chief investment officer Will Vicars, who owns 18% its shares, has bought the brand from administrators Deloitte.

Vicars has taken control from the Lane family, which founded the company in 1938.

Will this guarantee a return to glory for the brand this year. In a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange, Deloitte remained optimistic.

“Importantly the proposal would allow Oroton Group to remain trading and avoid a breakup of the business to the detriment of employees, creditors and other stakeholders, and seeks to ensure a strong and stable future for the company and its stakeholders."

Designer: Lover

Lover founders Nic Briand and Susien Chong are set to relocate to Sydney's Alexandria district in coming months.

The pair will join the headquarters of new owner Hotsprings, which purchased their brand after it entered administration last year.

Hotsprings has vowed to open additional retail stores, invest in eCommerce operations and grow the brand's international footprint this year.

Hotsprings CEO Joanne Goldman said 2018 will mark an important turning point for the brand.

"Lover is an established iconic label with a signature aesthetic and strong brand following. Our entrepreneurial culture and supply chain expertise will give Lover the platform to accelerate its domestic and international growth."

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