NT News

Vita focus switches to Artisan

- DAVID SWAN

VITA Group will exit the telco business and double down on cosmetics after the company announced it had finalised terms of a $110m sale of its retail arm to Telstra.

Vita shareholde­rs will receive a special dividend of up to 45c per share as part of the deal, with the company passing on between $65m and $75m to shareholde­rs, and it will hold on to about $35m to expand its Artisan Aesthetics Clinics business.

Telstra dropped a bombshell in February when it announced it would end Vita’s 26-year agreement to run the chain of retail shops.

Founded in 1995 with a single shop on the Gold Coast, Vita has grown to a retail empire encompassi­ng 100 Telstra shops. It also has 21 Artisan wellness clinics. “Vita has enjoyed a long-term strategic relationsh­ip with Telstra in which over the last 26 years I believe both parties have gained significan­t benefit from one another,” said Vita chief executive Maxine Horne (pictured).

The company will now turn its focus to wellness and cosmetic injections, which Ms Horne described as an incredibly attractive opportunit­y.

Vita plans to run up to 90 Artisan clinics, many located in wealthy suburbs such as Mosman in Sydney.

The Telstra deal is subject to Vita shareholde­r approval and also includes the Sprout Accessorie­s business.

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