The Meeting Place

Centenarian bids millions to clean up Godfreys

The soon to turn 100 major shareholder of ailing vacuum cleaner group Godfreys has made a takeover bid for the entire listed company.

John Johnston was one of the founders of Godfreys in the 1930s and currently owns about 28 per cent of the company.

The bidding vehicle, Arcade Finance, is offering 32¢ per share in an all-cash off-market takeover bid, that if it succeeds will see the 222-branch company removed from the Australian Securities Exchange.

Would you trust the nous of someone about to celebrate their 100th birthday to take the helm of a business employing more than 500 people?


Thats one place I would NEVER buy from so hardcore sell -- I am sure they must be on contract

He'd probably do a whole lot better than the present Godfrey's management.

If the guy has a good brain and he obviously has, I see no problem. I admire him.

Well he clearly is not in a home for the bewildered is he. So what has his age got to do with it.

Good on him. Amongst distinguished company. Oldest Executives in the Fortune 500:

1. Warren Buffett—CEO and Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, 85. First investment at 11.
2. Sheldon Adelson—CEO, Chairman, and Treasurer of Las Vegas Sands, 82. Started at 12.
3. Roger Penske—CEO and Chairman of Penske Automotive Group, 79. Teenage starter.
4. Leslie Wexner—CEO and Chairman of L Brands, 78. Entered industry at 26.
5. Alan Miller—CEO and Chairman of Universal Health Services, 77. Youngest vice president of Young and Rubicam ad agency, New York.

:) Way to go yet.

Rose Blumkin, who founded and ran the Nebraska Furniture Mart, which was bought by Berkshire Hathaway, was 105 years old when she died; she was still running the Mart till that time!

Jack Arnold Weil (1901–2008), founder and CEO of the Denver-based Western clothing manufacturer Rockmount Ranch Wear and was believed to be the oldest working CEO in the US at the time of his death aged 107. He claimed to have quit smoking at age 60, drinking at age 90 and eating red meat at 100. However, Weil said he had a shot of Jack Daniel's twice a week for "medicinal purposes”.

Very interesting.


And how does that old saying go: "Youre never to old to learn how to play the piano".

Yes it is good to see people of their age to continue to carry on the work they love.


RNR, are you now admiring the possibilities that capitalism can encourage? I thought you were a "keep the battler down" ideologist like Micha and his personalities?

"Ah but many a fine tune's played on an old fiddle".

have only used the shop to buy vacuum bags,    but they seem allright,   daughter bought a vac from them when she first left home,   went for years,    so that seemed ok,   

... likewise - they have the best (and cheaper) bags for the Miele Vac.   :-)  

So I'm interested to know what happens to the shares belonging to those shareholders who do not choose to sell? What is the underlying real reason that Arcade is so intent in getting 100% control?

I would assume that if enough shareholders refused to sell it would remain a public company.   A shareholder is usually given the option to vote on proposed mergers or takeovers.

If the company is taken over as such, and shareholders are forced to sell, they would be paid out at the share price at the time of sale.

You don't just lose your shares, unless of course the company goes bust.









May 19, 2018 ..... Herald Sun

THE short takeover battle for vacuum cleaner specialist Godfreys looks to be over, with victory to be claimed by 99-year-old suitor and cofounder John Johnston..... the 50.1 per cent control mark to make its takeover offer unconditional.

Mr Johnston said the offer was "particularly attractive" in light of Godfrey's long-term share price decline, its 2018 first-half results (a $58.6 million net loss, driven by a $75 million write down), debt levels and the suspension of evaporation of dividend payments.

Since listing in 2014 at $2.75, Godfreys has suffered falling sales, multiple changes of senior management and a sustained slide in share price to 21¢ at the close of business on Monday April 9— an all-time low. Apparently the business suffered with the rise of online players like Amazon and, have undermined the old-school Godfreys retailing model built around stand-alone stores. The emergence of highly fashionable brand Dyson, which is a big seller for Harvey Norman and JB Hi-Fi, has also caused big problems for Godfreys.

It should be interesting to watch and see if John Johnston can turn this company around

I wish him all the best.

Image result for Johnson  bids millions to clean up Godfreys

I dont care how old he is as long as he re-invents the company. In the old days you wouldnt go near a Godfery's salesperson who was carrying a bowling ball and a vacuum cleaner, because you knew the outcome. LOL!

Does Johnston have the same energy? It doesnt much matter as long as he can inspire his team. I imagine Johnston must be a god like figure amongst new recruits, particularly during the induction process.

I dont care if they have to wheel him into board meetings, and work him only 2 hours per week between nanny naps. The guy is a legend around Godfrey's. A Don Bradman, batting for 100 not out!! All he needs to do is paint the picture, provide the vision, his presence alone will get him most of the way there.

I dont much like quoting Woody Allan these days but anyone could have said this, it just so happened that it was a theme in his movie 'Being There".. 

Being there is 85% of success and in Johnston's case that figure shoots up to 95%.