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Jimmy Choo's Owner Said to Explore Options, Including a Sale

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Aug. 31 (Bloomberg) -- TowerBrook Capital Partners LP asked Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. to explore options for luxury-shoes and accessories maker Jimmy Choo Ltd., including a sale of the company, said two people with knowledge of the talks.

TowerBrook, the buyout firm spun out of Soros Fund Management LLC, is in the early stages of evaluating options for its majority stake in Jimmy Choo, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The London-based firm may decide not to pursue a sale before next year, one of the people said.

TowerBrook bought a majority stake in Jimmy Choo from London-based private-equity firm Lion Capital LLC in 2007. The deal valued the company at 185 million pounds ($284 million) and marked the third time that the fashion brand founded in 1996 was acquired by a private-equity investor.

Jimmy Choo, whose shoes are worn by celebrities such as actress Jennifer Lopez, may attract interests from strategic bidders and buyout firms, the people said.

The company could fetch as much as 500 million pounds ($767 million), the Sunday Telegraph reported on Aug. 8, without saying where it got the information.

The luxury company has more than 110 stores worldwide, having recently opened locations in Singapore, Dubai, Sydney and Macau, according to TowerBrook’s website. Sales have grown 30 percent a year on average since 2001 as it expanded into bags, leather goods, scarves and sneakers.

Officials at TowerBrook and Morgan Stanley declined to comment. A spokeswoman for Goldman Sachs declined to immediately comment.

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-- With assistance of Ambereen Choudhury in London. Editors: Jeff St.Onge, Chris Scinta

To contact the reporter on this story: Anne-Sylvaine Chassany in Paris at achassany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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