Kurt Geiger bought by Cinven for £245m.
Cinven, the private equity group, has acquired Britain’s biggest shoe seller Kurt Geiger for £245m from Sycamore Partners.
Cinven has become Kurt Geiger’s third owner in four years, and the fifth in ten years, after winning an auction and beating former Jimmy Choo owner Lion Capital. The company is said to have drawn interest because of the opportunity to roll out more international stores and grow online sales. Chief executive Neil Clifford, finance boss Dale Christilaw and Rebecca Farrar-Hockley are remaining at the company as part of the deal.
The cut-edge British fashion brand was originally owned by Egyptian business magnate and former Harrods owner Mohammed Fayed who sold it to Barclays for £45million in 2005, who then flipped it to Graphite Capital in 2008. American retailer Jones Group then bought it for £215million in 2011, before being taken over by Sycamore Partners last year.
Founded in 1963 on London’s Bond Street, Kurt Geiger sells its eponymous shoes and accessories, including the Carvela brand, are stocked in 240 concessions such as House of Fraser, Harrods or Selfridges, and 80 standalone stores its own. The brand also operates the shoe divisions of a number of department stores, including Harrods, House of Fraser and Selfridges.
While not as expensive as luxury shoe brands such as Jimmy Choo or Christian Louboutin, Kurt Geiger’s £250 heels have a long list of celebrity clientele, including Gigi Hadid, Rihanna and Emily Blunt, and is a popular brand amongst the well-dressed London elite.
Kurt Geiger, with 1,700 employees and sales of £260m in 2014, operates in 80 countries. Its purchase comes at a buoyant time for the footwear market with shoe sales expected to reach £10.3 billion by the end of 2015, according to research body Mintel.