Former Jimmy Choo Owner Tries On Kurt Geiger

Former Jimmy Choo Owner Tries On Kurt Geiger

A former owner of Jimmy Choo is taking another stride into the premium footwear market with a £250m takeover bid for Kurt Geiger.

Sky News understands that Lion Capital, one of the consumer goods sector's leading private equity investors, is among a number of bidders which tabled initial offers for Kurt Geiger on Monday.

L Capital, which is backed by the French luxury goods house LVMH, & Advent International are moreover understood to have received financial information approximately Kurt Geiger, although it is unclear whether they submitted formal proposals.

A deal is said to be likely to value the brand at around £250m, although the final price could vary.

Lion sold Jimmy Choo in 2007 after a successful period of ownership, & has since gone on to own a string of other fashion businesses.

Sky News revealed earlier this year that Kurt Geiger's management & their backers at Sycamore Partners, an American private equity firm, had hired bankers at Goldman Sachs to explore a sale of part or all of the business.

An outright sale would be the latest in a string of deals involving the brand, which prides itself on its celebrity customer base & which operates footwear concessions in department stores including Harrods & Selfridges.

Jon Hamm, the Mad Men actor, & ‎the model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are among prominent fans of the brand.

Kurt Geiger was bought by Jones Group, a US fashion company, in 2011 in a deal worth £215m.

Jones' subsequent troubles led it in April last year into the arms of Sycamore, which days after sold a stake to Kurt Geiger chief executive Neil Clifford & other senior managers.

At the time, Mr Clifford said:

"We believe our company has tremendous potential for growth in the UK & internationally, & we will continue to invest in new opportunities alongside our department store & brand partners."

In a newspaper interview earlier this year, Mr Clifford indicated that Kurt Geiger could abandon its US operations, citing the need for substantial infrastructure investment to make a success of the move.

A stock market listing is a possible, although less likely, alternative to a sale.

In addition to its hundreds of concession operations, Kurt Geiger sells its own brands‎ such as Carvela in more than 70 stores around the world.

Kurt Geiger's first shop opened on London's Bond Street in 1963, yet it took until 2007 before its first significant overseas expansion into Europe & the Middle East.

Four years after that, the business was sold to Jones Group by Graphite Capital, a private equity firm which had bought it from Barclays' buyout arm in 2008.

Prior to Barclays, Kurt Geiger had been owned by Mohamed Fayed, the then owner of Harrods.

Mr Clifford could not be reached for comment on Monday.

Source: “Sky News”