Jimmy Choo Considers 650 Million Pound Hong Kong IPO, FT Reports

Jimmy Choo
This photo taken on March 11, 2011 shows shoe designer Jimmy Choo posing with a picture of one of his creations at a hotel during a visit to Hong Kong. Photographer Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty Images

Jimmy Choo Ltd., whose luxury shoes are worn by actress Jennifer Lopez, may seek a Hong Kong initial public offering that may value the company at 650 million pounds ($1.1 billion), the Financial Times reported.

HSBC Holdings Plc proposed the IPO to Jimmy Choo’s owner TowerBrook Capital Partners LP and the plan is being taken “seriously” by the buyout firm, the FT reported without saying where it got the information.

Jimmy Choo, whose Niagra suede Sandals sell for 1,295 euros ($1,922), may join other luxury product-makers including Prada SpA and L’Occitane International SA in seeking a Hong Kong listing to take advantage of rising incomes in China. TowerBrook hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley in September to advise on “strategic alternatives” for the business, including new sources of financing.

Calls to the London office of Brunswick Group LLP, TowerBrook’s external media adviser, outside of normal office hours weren’t returned. Calls to Brunswick’s New York office were directed to London.

Jimmy Choo was founded in 1996 by the shoemaker of the same name and Tamara Mellon. Choo sold out in 2001 while Mellon still holds a stake and is the company’s chief creative officer.

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.

Luxury Shoes

The buyout firm has increased the company’s store network and added new products such as perfume since taking control. Jimmy Choo now has 119 outlets in 31 countries, according to its website, compared with about 60 shops at the time of the 2007 buyout.

Sales of luxury shoes will rise 20 percent a year through 2013, research firm Euromonitor International said last year.

Labelux Group, owner of Switzerland’s Bally International AG, teamed up with private-equity firm Investcorp Bank BSC to bid for the maker of $995 Zen booties, two people with knowledge of the talks said this month. Jimmy Choo may fetch more than 500 million pounds, one of the people said at the time.

TPG Capital, the American buyout firm, may make a bid, the Wall Street Journal reported March 6, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.

Jones Group Inc., along with TPG and the Labelux-led group, are vying for control of Jimmy Choo, the Financial Times said today.

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