New owners of the fashionable RM Williams rural clothing and footwear brand, Andrew and Nicola Forrest (pictured), have further diversified their investment portfolio with a stake in plant-based textile maker, Natural Fiber Welding.
The mining and agribusiness billionaire family's investment group, Tattarang, spent $27 million to take part in a capital raising offer by NFW, which also attracted funds from BMW and fashion group Ralph Lauren.
US-based NFW's patented "zero plastic" (fake leather) materials are used by New Zealand's Allbirds footwear brand as well as clothing labels H&M and Alexander McQueen.
Tattarang's chief investment officer, John Hartman, has reportedly noted while RM Williams' core focus would always be leather boots, the NFW connection may allow future investment in a 100pc plant-based alternative boot to meet changing consumer preferences.
Tattarang paid almost $200 million to buy Adelaide-based RM Williams in October 2020 from the Louis Vuitton-backed private equity group L Catterton, and five per cent shareholder and Australian actor, Hugh Jackman.
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