Jimmy Choo is using NM Rothschild, the investment bank, to explore the option of selling the business. Robert Bensoussan and Tamara Mellon, who run the fast-growing British luxury shoe company, decided to enlist Rothschild’s services after receiving several offers from prospective buyers over the summer. Burberry has been rumored to be one of the interested parties, but a Burberry spokesman says this was pure speculation, adding that it’s against company policy to comment.
A sale or a stock market flotation could reportedly value the company now at up to £100 million (e140m-$190m). According to another report, Jimmy Choo is in line to increase its sales by about 50 percent this year to the equivalent of $40 million. A change of ownership could help speed up the development of the brand, which is particularly strong in the UK and in the USA, into other accessories and into other markets, particularly in Europe and in Asia.
Phoenix Equity Partners bought a majority stake in the company in November 2001, when the eponymous designer sold his 50 percent stake. Jimmy Choo, which has 20 stores, is run by Bensoussan, the former CEO of Christian Lacroix. Mellon, who co-founded the brand with her father, is president in charge of product management, design and advertising.