Graphite Capital exits Kurt Geiger 

American fashion business The Jones Group has acquired British shoe retailer Kurt Geiger in a US$350 million (£215 million) deal.

The buy achieves an exit from the once Mohamed Al Fayed-owned business for Graphite Capital, a London-headquartered private equity firm.

Graphite led a £95 million buy-out for the high street shop in 2008, in a deal with Barclays Private Equity.

CEO of The Jones Group, Wesley Card, says that the buy is about pursuing opportunities to utilise its portfolio and establish a foothold in Europe.

Card explains: ‘The addition of Kurt Geiger to Jones is consistent with our strategy of identifying companies with best-in-class talent and proven brands that have the potential for substantial growth.’

The acquisition is the latest in the luxury footwear market following the recent purchase of Jimmy Choo by Labelux for £500 million.

According to a statement Kurt Geiger will now serve as Jones’ hub in Europe. CEO of the shoe retailer, Neil Clifford, will remain in his position and lead the management team.

Clifford says that although Kurt Geiger is still relatively young in terms of growth profile, it has great potential.

He adds: ‘We have a strong relationship with Jones and recognise it as an established designer, retailer and wholesaler in the US.’

In 2007 Kurt Geiger was voted ‘Coolest Shoe Brand’ by Vogue readers. Alongside its own footwear, the company also sells luxury brands such as Prada, Gucci and Jimmy Choo in department stores including Harrods and Selfridges.

Richard Dickson, president of The Jones Group and CEO of Branded Businesses, comments: ‘Our mission is to build the most powerful portfolio of brands in fashion.

‘Kurt Geiger’s portfolio of premier footwear, exceptional brand management and best-in-class product expertise makes it an ideal complement to our business and long-term goals.’

Kurt Geiger was established in 1963 and now operates from 200 locations worldwide, consisting of 49 stores and 156 concessions.

The financial advisor to The Jones Group was Citi.

Todd Cardy

Adelbert Swaniawski

Todd was Editor of GrowthBusiness.co.uk between 2010 and 2011 as well as being responsible for publishing our digital and printed magazines focusing on private equity and venture capital. Connect with...

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