That’s $1.1 Billion smackeroos, folks!
American luxury brand Michael Kors outbid rivals for legendary British shoes and bag company Jimmy Choo for £896 Million after an auction that attracted a bevy of international bidders.
Michael Kors agreed to pay 230p per Jimmy Choo share that the Jimmy Choo directors, who own 1.3% of the firm, “consider the terms of the acquisition to be fair and reasonable”.
Its caged stilettos are worn by celebrities including Beyoncé and the Duchess of Cambridge, and were made “must-haves” by the Carrie Bradshaw character in the television series ‘Sex and the City’.
Jimmy Choo was founded in east London in 1996 by the Malaysian bespoke shoemaker Jimmy Choo, after his designs caught the eye of then Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon. After a string of private equity firms took control of the business, both left the company with Choo selling his 50% stake in 2001 and Mellon soldiering on until 2011 when JAB bought the firm for more than £500M.
Jimmy Choo’s majority shareholder JAB Luxury put it up for sale in April 2017. JAB, the investment arm of Germany’s billionaire Reimann family, one of Europe’s wealthiest business dynasties, is selling its 67.6% stake to focus on food and other consumer goods.
Jimmy Choo’s chief executive since 2012, Pierre Denis, will stay on, alongside creative director Sandra Choi, who has been with the company since the beginning, and the finance director, Jonathan Sinclair; making millions from their shares.
This deal should add prestige to Michael Kors, whose products are in the affordable category, helping it move into the high end of the luxury market. For years the Michael Kors brand, which sells shoes, eyewear, watches, jewellery and perfume, was one of the world’s fastest-growing fashion brands but recently, sales have slipped.
Its chief executive, John Idol, said: “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 we are committed to supporting the strong brand equity that Jimmy Choo has built over the last 20 years.”
Jimmy Choo is a well known name but like so many luxury brands, it had declining sales from discounting in department stores and customer preferences moving away from conspicuous labels.
It came to prominence by Jimmy Choo boots appearing on countless photoshoots at Vogue and the influence of Tamara Mellon and her friends at Vogue cannot be denied. The new editor-in-chief at Vogue is desperate for even a bit of that power but he is having to destroy people to get his way.
This deal allows Michael Kors to swim with the big boys away from shallow cheap luxury waters. It also allows a pushback against main competitor Coach that bought Kate Spade earlier this year for $2.4 Billion. We’re not sure if this will lead to more consolidation in the market.
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).