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Jimmy Choo owner moots IPO

Investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are the front runners to advise the owner of luxury footwear brand Jimmy Choo on its strategic review, which includes a possible initial public offering and a sale expected to fetch up to £500m.

Private equity group Towerbrook Capital, which bought Jimmy Choo in 2007 for £180m, is considering all options including an IPO in the UK, the US or Asia, according to the Financial Times newspaper. An IPO or sale is not expected to take place until next year.

The talks of an IPO come less than a month after it was reported that the private equity owner was considering putting the business up for sale. Reports said the company’s shareholders may appoint an adviser by the end of the summer.

The company was set up in 1996 by designer Jimmy Choo and Tamara Mellon. Choo sold out in 2001 with private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners taking a £9m investment. Three years later the firm sold the business to private equity firm Hicks Muse Tate & Furst, now called Lion Capital. In 2007 Mellon and private equity firm Towerbrook Capital bought a majority stake in the firm in a deal valued at £185m. Mellon remains chief creative officer of the company with a stake of around 18%.

Jimmy Choo has three standalone stores in the UK as well as a presence in Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Harrods.

It is the latest footwear retailer to consider a sale, with Jones Bootmaker set to appoint advisers BDO for a £40m sale process as revealed by Drapers last month.

Office is also expected to issue an information memorandum this month with hopes of securing £200m for the business which is owned by Sir Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital investment vehicle.

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