International private equity firm Towerbrook Capital Partners LP has acquired luxury shoe specialist Jimmy Choo for £185 million. The firm will be the new majority owner of the luxury chain, with Spanish private equity firm Gala Capital as a co-investor. President and founder of Jimmy Choo, Tamara Mellon, will continue to run the creative side of the business, as well as managing its image and promotional activities. She will remain a major shareholder. Meanwhile, creative director Sandra Choi will continue on at the company, contrary to earlier reports that she would not renew her contract.
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“This new partnership will not only give us the ability to meet the growing demand for our range of products, but also achieve my original vision for Jimmy Choo to be one of the world’s most treasured luxury brands,” Mellon said in a statement.
Towerbrook has purchased the company from Lion Capital, formerly known as Hicks Muse, which acquired a majority stake in Jimmy Choo more than two years ago. The US-based firm said that since it had realized its “return expectations, we have decided to exit our investment, thereby enabling fresh capital to support the next stage of Choo’s development.”
Meanwhile, Jimmy Choo’s chief executive Robert Bensoussan will work with Towerbrook to explore potential acquisitions in the luxury goods sector. In the statement, he said that the company would continue to develop overseas and would be expanding its current offering. Mellon told W Magazine in July that she wanted to “completely accessorize” her customers, adding that she wanted the brand to become available at a lower price point. Jimmy Choo currently has sales of £65 million, with 60 stores worldwide.