Labelux ties up Jimmy Choo shoe deal for £500m

LABELUX luxury goods group yesterday announced the acquisition of Jimmy Choo, the upmarket shoe brand.

Labelux was founded by Austria’s Benckiser family in 2007 with the aim of creating a significant new global player in the expanding luxury goods sector. Its existing portfolio includes Swiss luxury shoe brand Bally, acquired in 2008, and Italian accessories brand Zagliani. Under the ownership of the private group Jimmy Choo will concentrate on expanding its presence in the US, Asia and continental Europe. Jimmy Choo’s experience in the US will also help Bally expand there.

Jimmy Choo was founded in 1996 in London by Tamara Mellon, a former accessories editor for Vogue, and shoemaker Jimmy Choo.

Labelux was the frontrunner to buy the luxury shoe group after outbidding competition from TPG Capital, Investcorp and US retailer Jones Group. Private equity firm Towerbrook Capital Partners is selling the shoe label which it bought four years ago for £180m. A source close to the seller said the deal was worth around £500m. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley ran the auction process for Towerbrook whilst Rothschild acted as financial adviser for Labelux.

ROTHSCHILD’S Akeel Sachak led a team of eight advising Labelux – his third involvent in a Jimmy Choo deal.

Sachak, who is Rothschild’s global head of consumer products, was also an adviser in the £110m sale of the luxury label by Phoenix Equity Partners to Lion Capital in 2004 and the £180m sale by Lion to Towerbrook Capital Partners.

He said that while the latest sale process had taken around four months, dialogue started as long as two years ago. Rothschild also advised on Labelux’s debt financing.

Sachak described Labelux head Peter Harf as “one of the shrewdest businessmen I have dealt with”, adding that he was building a broad luxury goods portfolio.

Recent deals that Sachak has also been involved in include the sale of Quorn for Premier Foods, the sale of Constellation Brand’s Australian and European wine business and the $8bn sale of Femsa beer to Heineken.