The Australian-grown cosmetics empire Napoleon Perdis Group has gone into voluntary administration, putting jobs and 56 local stores at risk.
Company directors had been trying to find a buyer for the makeup chain for months.
The administrators Simon Cathro, Chris Cook and Ivan Glavas of Worrells Solvency Accountants will now consider a restructure or pursue the sale option while the business continues to trade.
Napoleon Perdis, who is now based in Athens, opened his first makeup store in 1995 in Paddington, Sydney. After expanding into Australian department stores, the brand launched overseas and operated in the US for more than a decade.
A statement released by the administrators on Thursday said the company’s directors had been trying to sell the business for several months.
“The brand is still in high demand from our customers,” Perdis said, adding that restructuring the business would put it in a “prime position to continue to evolve through continued trade or in a sale”.
“My family and I are 100% committed to achieving the best outcome for all stakeholders. We are fortunate that throughout our business, we have staff and teams who have not only underpinned the business success, but who are our extended family.”
In 2015 Perdis greeted the arrival in Australia of Sephora – the largest beauty retailer in the world – as a “non-event”.
“We have felt nothing from Sephora,” he said. “Sephora haven’t affected our figures in any part of our distribution, we are growing … I would be surprised if in the long term that Sephora is still around.”
Australia’s retail sector is struggling, with sales growth slipping in the September quarter amid weak wages growth and the increasing negative-wealth effect of falling house prices.