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Martin Completes Flooring Group Initiative

Media Release
5th February 2008


Martin Completes Flooring Group Initiative

Auckland businessman Rodney Martin is rapidly changing the shape of the New Zealand retail flooring industry.

Over the past three years Martin’s investment vehicle Lincoln Capital Partners has acquired 32 of the 61 Carpet Court stores nationwide. LCP has also purchased a further eight previously independent stores, including this week, a major outlet in Melbourne.

Martin, who is now acquiring independent flooring stores at the rate of one every two weeks, says he will continue his acquisition programme until his group controls 50 per cent of the New Zealand retail flooring market, generating revenues of $300 million. Currently, his group controls over 30 percent of the market and $185 million of revenue.

This week, the Board of Carpet Court approved an initiative by Mr Martin, which will see all 61 of the Carpet Court stores nationwide, together with the eight non Carpet Court stores, operating together as a single group.

Under this initiative, the Carpet Court stores will move away from the co-operative model they have operated under for the past 10 years, to form a full format franchise group.

All 32 Carpet Court stores owned by Lincoln Capital Partners, and the eight independent stores, will now be sold into the Carpet Court company, with the remaining Carpet Court stores operating as franchisees of the Carpet Court company. The entire group will be controlled by Martin’s Lincoln Capital Partners.

Lincoln Capital Partners was rated number 33 on the Deloitte Fast 50 index of companies last year.

Mr Martin is now set to launch a second brand which will see his non Carpet Court stores re-branded, under Carpet Court ownership.

“Under this new model, all the Carpet Court and non - Carpet Court stores owned by the Carpet Court company, will operate as one very tight group.

“ The Carpet Court support centre will have the power to control the buying decisions for the group, and as such will be able to improve our buying practices and our group operating efficiencies”.

“The second brand we are about to launch will allow us to continue growing by acquisition, and through development of the second brand franchise group”.

Mr Martin says the group was now more than three times larger than its biggest national competitor.

“ We have the premium brand in the market, spend far more on advertising, have more buying power and greater reach than anyone else. We are looking at a number of far- reaching initiatives to improve our customer service, product offerings and operating efficiencies,” he added.

ends

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