Sanity Entertainment, one of Australia's biggest music and DVD specialists, has changed hands in a management buyout, Billboard.biz can reveal.

A consortium led by the Sydney-based entertainment specialist's CEO Ray Itaoui has acquired the business from Brett Blundy Retail Capital (BBRC) for an undisclosed sum.

"Its fantastic for the industry and obviously we're excited," explains Itaoui, who takes the title of CEO across the 238-store Sanity chain, which includes the Sanity, Virgin and HMV brands down under. Sanity Entertainment counts 1,800 staff across all stores, none of whom will be affected by the transaction.

"The key focus for us is as music and movie specialists," Itaoui tells Billboard.biz. "We really want to get back to what we do well. We'll concentrate on music and movies, and that's where we'll put our energies."

Retail operator Brazin Limited opened its first Sanity Entertainment store opened in 1992 in Doncaster, Melbourne, and floated on the Australian Stock Exchange five years later.

The retailer grew to become Australia's leading music and retail chain, a status which has been challenged in recent years by rival JB Hi-Fi. Sanity currently has an estimated 23%-25% share of Australia music retail market, placing it No. 2 in the country behind JB Hi-Fi, which claims market share of up to 40%.

Blundy's Sydney-based retail investment group BBRC privatized Sanity parent Brazin Ltd in December 2006. BBRC currently boasts interest in 11 retail brands with more than 700 stores nationwide, including fashion chain Diva and home d├ęcor chain Dusk.

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