Jimmy Choo hires advisers for £500m bid

THE FOUNDER of the Jimmy Choo fashion brand has hired bankers to advise him on buying back the company he set up.

Jimmy Choo, the Malaysian-born shoemaker who founded the eponymous brand with Tamara Mellon in 1996, could lodge a £500m bid for the company.

He has appointed Daniel Stewart to advise on his options in the firm.

The firm’s private equity owner Towerbrook Capital is in the process of reviewing its options for the business, which could include a sale.

Last September, the firm appointed investment bankers Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to complete the strategic review.

The review, which is due this spring, has considered holding on to the company, a sale, or spinning it off in a stock market listing.

However, it is understood that the review is likely to recommend a sale.

Choo, who started producing designer shoes from his Hackney workshop in 1986, could seek to work alongside private equity backers in order to repurchase the firm.

He sold his 50 per cent stake in the firm in 2001, whilst Mellon retained her 15 per cent stake and leadership of the firm.

Choo remains associated with the company as a consultant designer, offering bespoke footwear to celebrity clients.

NUMIS chief executive Oliver Hemsley is leading the advisory for JJB’s share offering. His team, which also includes former HSBC banker Heraclis Economides, will oversee the process alongside US investment banking giant Lazard.

Hemsley founded Numis in the early 1990s, growing his business into one of the most successful independent British stockbroking firms.

Under his leadership, the broker has landed deals with increasingly prestigious clients, including marketing firm Aegis Group last year.

Prior to founding Numis, he worked as a marine underwriter at Lloyd’s for the Brockbank Group.

The Lazard advisory team is being led by managing director in investment banking Melanie Gee. Managing director in UK capital markets Charlie Foreman is also working to advise JJB on its restructuring process.

The bank has handled several significant share offerings this year already, including the initial public offering of US hospital operator HCA Holdings for $3.79bn (£2.4bn).