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Jimmy Choo sold for £500m

Jimmy Choo, the luxury footwear and accessories label, has been acquired by luxury goods group Labelux for £500m.

Labelux, which owns brands including Swiss luxury accessories label Bally, US clothing label Derek Lam, and Italian accessories brand Zagliani, bought the business from private equity backers TowerBrook for three times more than what they paid for it in 2007.

Founder and chief creative officer Tamara Mellon, whose 17% stake in Jimmy Choo was recently valued at £85m,and chief executive Joshua Schulman will remain at the business.

Mellon and the senior management team will make an investment in the Labelux subsidiary set up to own Jimmy Choo.

Jimmy Choo was founded by the eponymous cobbler and Mellon in 1996 with a £150,000 loan. The sale is the label’s fourth in 15 years. TowerBrook bought it for £185m in 2007. Choo sold his interest in 2001.

The deal is the latest indication of the buoyant nature of the luxury market. The women’s luxury footwear and leather goods segment of the global luxury market is expected to outperform the overall luxury market which was forecast to be worth €168bn in 2010.

The whole market is expected to record compound annual growth of 6.2% to reach €201bn by 2013.

In 2010, Jimmy Choo said that sales were £150m and the label was experiencing double digit growth across all categories and geographies, thought to be up more than 10% driven by an increase in demand in Asia, particularly China. It has expanded from 60 stores in 2007 to 120 store around the world.

Mellon said: “My ambition for Jimmy Choo to inspire women around the world has never had any limits.  I am immensely proud of all we have achieved over the last fifteen years and delighted we are to be part of Labelux, a partner who I know shares our values and passion and who seeks ambitious growth in the luxury industry. This is wonderful news for the women who are, or who aspire to become, part of the Jimmy Choo lifestyle.”

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