Conjecture rife over Jimmy Choo sale

Jimmy_Choo_w300Speculation is growing over the future of global footwear brand Jimmy Choo, following reports of a possible sale involving a deal worth GBP 500 million (A$870 million).

Recent media reports stated the brand had been seeking advice from investment banks over options for the business, and was considering appointing an adviser to carry out a strategic review by the end of UK summer.

Jimmy Choo’s owners include president and UK socialite Tamara Mellon, who founded it in 1996, having discovered the hand-made, high end shoes made by a certain Malaysian cobbler whose name the brand would eventually adopt.

Mellon still owns almost a fifth of the business.

The Jimmy Choo brand now operates 100 outlets in 32 countries and has branched into accessories including handbags and eyewear.

Its sale, if it eventuates, would mark the next of numerous ownership changes for the Jimmy Choo brand, which was bought in 2001 by private equity firm Phoenix, which sold it three years later to fellow buyout firm Lion Capital.

In early 2007, Mellon and the rest of the management team bought it from Lion with the backing of TowerBrook Capital Partners in a deal which valued the business at GBP 185 million ($A321.57 million).

Jimmy Choo operates 100 shops in 32 countries, including Australia.

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