Luxury shoe brand Jimmy Choo, which Hollywood actresses find de rigueur for their red carpet walks, was purchased this weekend by luxury goods group Labelux for £500m.
Socialite Tamara Mellon co-founded the shoe and accessories brand while Germany’s Reimann family is behind Labelux GmbH. Surprisingly, the amount paid by Labelux for the shoe company was three times more than the amount paid by private equity owners TowerBrook Capital Partners four years ago.
While the terms of the deal were not disclosed after the purchase was announced Sunday, the senior management of Jimmy Choo will remain with the company including Mellon and CEO Joshua Schulman.
The Germany-based Labelux owns the Italian accessories brand Zagliani, London-based jeweller Solange Azagury-Partridge, New York label Derek Lam and Swiss luxury brand Bally.
The London-based Jimmy Choo started with its signature female footwear line 15 years ago. Today, the brand, with a reported net sales of $244.2 million, already includes men’s shoes, fragrance, belts, handbags and similar items.
Alternatives for the brand were being considered by TowerBrook since late 2010.
Mellon said the deal was “wonderful news for the women who are, or who aspire to become, part of the Jimmy Choo lifestyle”.
The stiletto queen’s bank balance, is expected to benefit from the sale. Mellon and Choo founded the company in 1996 mainly out of the loan provided by Mellon’s father Tommy Yeardye, who is the co-founder of the Vidal Sassoon hair products. Choo however sold his interest in the company while Mellon remained.
This is the fourth time for the shoe company to be sold in the last 15 years, the latest of which prior to this deal is the acquisition by TowerBrook in 2007 for £185m. A pair of shoes from the high-end brand costs up to £1,000.
The shoe company broadened its appeal beyond the costly killer heels and now includes perfume, jewellery and handbags. The number of stores has also doubled to 120 worldwide with last year’s sales hitting £150m. It is now enjoying a 10 percent increase in its sales with the luxury boom in Asia.