Labelux Buys Jimmy Choo for About $811 Million

Labelux, the privately held group that owns Bally, agreed to buy upscale shoemaker Jimmy Choo on expectations for further growth in luxury accessories.

Labelux paid TowerBrook Capital Partners LLP more than 500 million pounds ($811 million) for Jimmy Choo, according to two people familiar with the matter. TowerBrook made more than three times its initial equity investment, said one of the people, who declined to be named because the information is private.

“Jimmy Choo has enormous growth potential and the ability to deliver material growth synergies across our group,” Labelux Chief Executive Officer Reinhard Mieck said in the statement.

Jimmy Choo had net sales of 150 million pounds in 2010 and is growing at more than 10 percent in all categories and geographic regions, Labelux said. The company has 120 stores now, double the number when TowerBrook acquired it.

Jimmy Choo’s founder, Tamara Mellon, and Chief Executive Officer Joshua Schulman will stay on after the purchase, Vienna- based Labelux said in an e-mailed statement late yesterday.

TowerBrook, which was spun out of Soros Fund Management LLC, teamed up with Mellon and other Jimmy Choo management to buy control of the company from Lion Capital LLC in 2007. The offer valued the shoemaker at 185 million pounds at the time and marked the third time the fashion brand was acquired by a private-equity investor.

Asian Growth

“Substantial potential awaits the Jimmy Choo brand, particularly in Asia where Labelux has a proven track record,” TowerBrook co-CEO Ramez Sousou said in the statement.

Sales of luxury shoes will rise 20 percent a year through 2013, research firm Euromonitor said last year. Jimmy Choo, whose Macy sandals were reportedly worn by actress Reese Witherspoon at her March wedding, has reported sales growth of more than 30 percent a year on average since 2001 as the brand expanded into bags, leather goods, scarves and sneakers.

The German billionaire Reimann family founded Labelux. The company is part of the family’s Joh A. Benckiser SE, which also owns perfume maker Coty Inc. and a stake of 16 percent in Reckitt Benckiser, the world’s largest maker of household cleaners.

Jimmy Choo was founded in 1996 by the shoemaker of the same name and Mellon. Choo sold out in 2001.



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