One of the southern hemisphere's largest retailers, Woolworths, may have felt this week as if it was close to being sent to Davy Jones's locker — a euphemism in sailing parlance for being shipwrecked or dispatched to the bottom of the sea. The retailer has foundered after announcing this week that it had impaired the value of its flagship Australian business, David Jones. It may, though, require new management to steady this ship. It was, after all, the current CEO, Ian Moir, who pushed the David Jones deal hard back in 2014. So determined was he to buy the business that Woolworths paid a hefty ransom to get an obstacle out of the way. The obstacle's name was Solomon Lew. There had been a long-running dispute between Lew and Woolworths — at the time of the David Jones bid, the feud had been running for 16 years, according to reports. So when Woolworths bid for David Jones, Lew tried to scupper the deal or at least raise the prospect that he would do so, just as Woolworths had frustr...

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