Gina Rinehart and Twiggy Forrest purchase iconic Australian brands within weeks of each other
Another iconic brand has been purchased by one of the country’s richest people after mining magnate Gina Rinehart snapped up Driza-Bone.
It’s the latest purchase of a historic Australian brand by a billionaire after Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest and ex-wife Nichola purchased hat company Akubra in a deal worth millions of dollars in November.
While it is not known how much Ms Rinehart’s beef company S. Kidman & Co paid for the acquisition, Australia’s richest woman said she was “honoured” to carry on the Driza-Bone legacy, calling it a “natural fit”.
“Driza-Bone’s oilskin coats are iconic,” she said.
“From sheltering soldiers at Gallipoli during World War I, to being worn in the magnificent film The Man from Snowy River, and by our Olympians for the Sydney Olympics, Driza-Bone has been an emblem of Australian quality and resilience,” she said.
Known for its waterproof oilskin jackets worn by stockmen, the brand has a 125-year history after first being developed in New Zealand.
Its name comes from the phrase “dry as a bone”, but the brand has expanded beyond its notable
Ms Rinehart’s acquisition is the latest example of a billionaire snapping up a heritage brand, with the Forrest family holding Akubra and R.M. Williams in their stable of Aussie companies.
The billionaire miner has made no secret of his desire to retain ownership of iconic Australian brands, expressing his pride at purchasing the famed boot brand for up to $200 million from Louis Vuitton in 2020.
“Everything about the great Australia character you can see depicted in a pair of boots and know that it was made right here in Australia,” he said after the October 2020 deal.
“We just saw a fantastic brand, a great Australian product, a legacy for country and it just needed to be Australian, it just had to come back home.”
The Forrests also spent more than $100 million to buy a 6.61 per cent stake in Australian cheese company Bega in 2021 before going on to spend another $15 million on the company’s shares, bringing the families stake in the company to 11.5 per cent.
The exact figure the family paid for their recent Akubra is not known but its estimated to be around the figure paid for R.M. Williams.
Originally published as Gina Rinehart and Twiggy Forrest purchase iconic Australian brands within weeks of each other
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