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Norman family's James Pascoe buys beat-up Warehouse stock

Norman family's James Pascoe buys beat-up Warehouse stock, lifts stake to 5.15%

By Jonathan Underhill

June 24 (BusinessDesk) - James Pascoe, the retail group owned by David and Anne Norman, has taken advantage of a slump in Warehouse Group shares to nudge its holding up to 5.15 percent.

James Pascoe acquired 544,964 shares on market yesterday for about $1.65 million, implying it paid $3.03 a share. Warehouse slipped 0.7 percent to $3.01 on the NZX today and have shed almost a fifth of their value this year. The purchase amounts to only about 0.2 percent of Warehouse's stock, meaning James Pascoe was already close to the 5 percent threshold where a holding must be disclosed to the NZX.

The Norman's retail empire includes department store chain Farmers Trading Co, the Whitcoulls bookstores, Pascoes the Jewellers, Stewart Dawson and Goldman jewellery retailers, and Prouds the Jewellers, Angus & Coote and Goldmark jewellery chains in Australia.

The couple ranked 18th equal on the NBR Rich List last year, with a fortune estimated $500 million, the same value put on the wealth of Briscoe Group managing director and controlling shareholder Rod Duke.

According to their substantial security holder notice, James Pascoe is owned by David and Anne Norman and four family trusts.

The stock was downgraded to 'hold' from 'buy' by brokerage Craigs Investment Partners after the retailer last week cut its full-year earnings forecast because of discounting of seasonal wares.

Craigs analyst Chris Byrne cut his forecast for the retailer's 2014 profit by 12 percent, the 2015 forecast by 6 percent and the 2016 estimate by 5 percent after Warehouse on Friday said its profit would decline from the year earlier and be lower than previously forecast as it cut profit margins at its 'red sheds' stores to move stock. Apparel makes up about a quarter of 'red shed' sales and normally generates higher margins, Byrne said.


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