Michael Kors Puts Best Foot Forward, Buys Jimmy Choo

NEW YORK (CBSDFW.COM/BBC) – CBS News partner BBC News is reporting that Michael Kors is buying luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion.

It was in April that Jimmy Choo, a British company, was put up for sale. As well as shoes, Jimmy Choo produces a range of luxury goods, but like other upscale retailers the company has seen sales slow in recent years.

Under the terms of the agreement, Jimmy Choo will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Michael Kors.

Kors himself described the purchase as “a premier fashion luxury house that offers distinctive footwear, handbags and other accessories,” and made clear his admiration for the company saying, “We admire the glamorous style and trendsetting nature of Jimmy Choo designs. We look forward to welcoming Jimmy Choo to our luxury group.”

The sale plan was backed by Jimmy Choo’s main shareholder, JAB Holdings, owned by the German billionaire Reimann family.

Michael Kors Holdings said the acquisition was expected to deliver a number of benefits, including “the opportunity to grow Jimmy Choo sales to one billion” and “a more balanced portfolio with greater product diversification”.

It said Jimmy Choo would also have the opportunity to grow in the men’s luxury footwear category, as well as greater exposure to global markets, “particularly the fast-growing market in Asia”.

The firm was co-founded by Malaysian shoemaker Jimmy Choo and former Vogue journalist Tamara Mellon in 1996. It quickly built up a dedicated client list of musicians, actresses and royalty.

But it has gone through a number of different owners over the years. Mellon and the first of several different private equity suitors bought out Choo in 2001. Ten years later, Mellon left the business to launch her own clothing line.

Jimmy Choo shoes range in price from about $350 to several thousand dollars a pair.

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