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Michael Kors to buy Jimmy Choo in $1.35bn deal

Lauretta Roberts
25 July 2017

Michael Kors has confirmed its acquisition of British luxury brand Jimmy Choo in a deal worth $1.35bn.

The US giant announced this morning that it has reached an agreement to purchase the business, which was put up for sale by its parent company JAB Holdings earlier this year.

Several names were linked with a potential bid for the business including Coach (which recently acquired smaller rival Kate Spade for $2.4bn) and private equity houses Hony and CVC Capital Partners, however Michael Kors had emerged as the front-runner in recent weeks.

Michael Kors chairman and CEO John D Idol said that Jimmy Choo, which was founded in 1996 by the shoe designer of the same name and a former Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon, was an "iconic brand with a rich history".

"Jimmy Choo is known worldwide for its glamorous and fashion-forward footwear. The company is a leader in setting fashion trends. Its innovative designs and exceptional craftsmanship resonate with trendsetters globally. We believe that Jimmy Choo is poised for meaningful growth in the future and our company is committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built over the last 20 years," Idol added.

He confirmed that Jimmy Choo CEO Pierre Denis would remain with the business along with Sandra Choi, niece of Jimmy Choo, and the brand's creative director. "Mr Denis, Ms Choi and the rest of the highly-talented management team have done a tremendous job, and this continuity of leadership will ensure that the DNA of Jimmy Choo is maintained as we work together to continue to grow the brand globally," Idol said.

Michael Kors, who remains honorary chairman and CEO of the business the bears his name, said: "Jimmy Choo is a premier fashion luxury house that offers distinctive footwear, handbags and other accessories. We admire the glamorous style and trendsetting nature of Jimmy Choo designs. We look forward to welcoming Jimmy Choo to our luxury group."

Jimmy Choo was acquired by JAB Holdings from Labelux in 2014 and later that year 25% of the business was floated on the London Stock Exchange. JAB continued to hold a 66.7% controlling stake and in April of this year it announced it was exploring strategic options that may lead to a sale of the business. JAB is owned by the German Reimann family and is divesting its luxury businesses, which also include Belstaff and Bally, in order to focus on its beauty, food and beverage assets such as Coty and Krispy Kreme.

Jimmy Choo now operates 150 company-owned retail stores, 560 multi-brand wholesale accounts and more than 60 franchise stores worldwide. Michael Kors said the business had the potential for $1bn of sales and that it expected its acquisition to complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

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