In this special coverage, Ragtrader unpacks the key insights and news from its Breakfast of Big Ideas event this week on June 26.

The best way to buy a business that has recently gone into administration is through an asset purchase rather than a company purchase, according to Marquee Retail Group chairman Bernie Brookes.

Speaking at Ragtrader’s Breakfast of Big Ideas in Sydney yesterday, Brookes told a sell-out crowd that buying the whole company includes the ACN (Australian Company Number).

“Once you've got that as a given number, it's like having a bad tattoo that you can't get rid of,” he said.

“So every time someone Google searches your company, the ACN number comes up and will show them that you’ve been in administration.”

Brookes said this tactic was done when buying both Colette by Colette Hayman and The Daily Edited (TDE) when both those brands were in administration.

“Effectively, we bought both businesses when they were in administration, and we undertook some favouritism - if you will - as you can pick what you want. 

“So we took 35 of the 115 stores from Colette four years ago. And we didn't take the warehouse storage from TDE because we had an existing warehouse. And similarly, we didn't take all of the stores there, either. 

“And so you get the opportunity to pick the best of the stores, the businesses, the warehouses, and the staff. Effectively, that's pretty good.”

According to its websites, Colette now operates 42 stores across Australia, while TDE manages an online portal.

Brookes added that this similar tactic was done when buying the Marquee Retail Group business out of administration through a deed of company arrangement (DOCA) last month. 

“So therefore we escaped the ACN recognition because it's a new company.”

Brookes sat alongside former Tigerlily CEO Travis Wright, with both sharing their insights into navigating voluntary administration.

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