Kurt Geiger has been sold to Graphite Capital in a deal thought to be worth around £95 million.
Kurt Geiger, which was put up for sale by its private equity owners Barclays Private Equity pre-Christmas, has bucked the difficult trading trend in the specialist footwear sector and attracted a raft of bidders including 3i, Highland Star and Advent.
Graphite Capital is understood to have been attracted to Kurt Geiger because of its luxury positioning. Luxury retailers have not been hit as hard as traditional high street retailers amidst the recent consumer spending slowdown.
Kurt Geiger, which specialises in selling premium and luxury footwear across Europe, saw like-for-like sales rise 5% in 2007 while other footwear specialists such as Dolcis and Stead & Simpson collapsed into administration because of tough trading and increased competition from high street clothing retailers selling cheap footwear.
Kurt Geiger also has the licenses for Agent Provocateur footwear and French Connection footwear and has begun rolling its concept out internationally. It has opened concessions in Italian department store group La Rinascente and French department store Printemps. At the end of last year, it also inked a deal with Landmark to roll out stores in the Middle East.
Graphite Capital’s previous investments include young fashion retailer Jane Norman. It also part owns Ossian Group which owns the young fashion chain Internacionale.
Barclays Private Equity bought Kurt Geiger from Harrods owner Mohammed Al Fayed for £46m in 2005.