5 Mar 2013

The Warehouse buys online retailer

7:14 am on 5 March 2013

The Warehouse has bought a stake in another business to bolster its online presence.

The country's biggest listed retailer purchased 51% of online retailer Torpedo7, paying up to $33 million if certain earnings targets are met.

Hamilton-based Torpedo7 is an online outdoor sports gear sales site which was founded in 2004 by Luke Howard-Willis. It now operates on both sides of the Tasman.

Warehouse chief executive Mark Powell said the purchase means it can offer a broader range of products and tap Torpedo7's expertise in selling online.

Mr Powell said the company would like to own Torpedo7 outright at some stage.

"Over time we would look to take full ownership - we just think it's a very good fit,'' he said.

"As a multi-channel retailer, you need pure on-line businesses, as well as businesses which interact with your stores."

The Warehouse will pay $20 million for 51% of the operation next month, with the remaining $13 million being paid over three years if certain earnings targets are met.

The company's shares fell 2 cents to close at $3.40 each on Monday.