Kurt Geiger Exploring Yet Another Change of Ownership
Loved by celebrities and the very wealthy, British luxury shoe retailer Kurt Geiger looks set to be sold yet again. Over recent years the shoe giant has seen several changes of ownership, bringing in vast profits and going some way to heighten the profile of the multi-million-pound brand.
Gracing Celebrity Feet
They’re popular the world over, with concessions in many favourite high street shops such as Debenhams as well as well-known London stores such as Harrods and Selfridges. Kurt Geiger is, in fact, the world’s largest luxury shoe retailer, gracing the feet of celebrities such as Mad Men actor Jon Hamm and model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.
And now, it seems, it could be up for sale again just a year after the last time when Sycamore Partners, an American private equity firm bought it. Sky News reported that the firm is now worth an estimated £300 million.
Kurt Geiger History
The regular sales started back in 2008, when the company was sold by Barclays Private Equity to Graphite for £98 million. In 2011 Jones Group, a US fashion company, paid £215 million for Kurt Geiger. When Jones Group ran into trouble, the shoe retailer passed into the hands of Sycamore, who sold a stake to current chief executive Neil Clifford.
Kurt Geiger’s history is quite long, with the first shop being opened in 1963 in Bond Street, London. Despite early success, it was to be another 44 years before expansion overseas brought significant profits from Europe and the Middle East. Previous owners include Mohamed Fayed, who owned Harrods until selling it in 2010.
Clifford had huge plans for growth of Kurt Geiger both at home in the UK and in the international market, with a plan to move into children’s shoes. With a presence in 24 countries, last year Kurt Geiger turned over an estimated £230 million, representing a 9% increase.
There is speculation regarding just how the sale would be carried out, but preparations are expected to take several months. Some analysts think that the company would again appeal to private equity firms that have an interest in investing in the retail industry and luxury fashion goods in particular. There is also speculation that Kurt Geiger would appeal to fashion houses around the world. Another option being speculated on is the possibility of a stock market listing. Both Sycamore Partners, the current owners, and Goldman Sachs, who have been approached to handle the sale, have declined to answer questions on the subject.