Apr 29, 2019
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Kurt Geiger 'for sale', owner talks to American giants

Apr 29, 2019

Shoe chain Kurt Geiger could soon have new owners with its current parent, private equity company Cinven, having held informal talks with potential US-based purchasers.

Kurt Geiger

The company could fetch more than £450 million, according to reports, as its products prove increasingly popular both with celebrity influencers and consumers in general.

The Telegraph reported that potential buyers include Steve Madden, Michael Kors owner Capri Holdings and Coach/Stuart Weitzman owner Tapestry.

The talks so far have been “informal” the newspaper said, citing City sources.

Kurt Geiger is one of Europe’s largest retailers and it has been owned by Cinven for only five years. The company was previously sold for £245 million after Sycamore Partners sought an exit in spring 2014. Going back further, it had been owned by then-Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed until 2005 when it was sold to Barclays' private equity arm for just £46 million.

Its 10-times value increase is a reflection of improving results and its ever-rising profile (Meghan, Duchess of Sussex has been seen wearing its boots).

The latest results available are for 2017 and in that year its sales rose 12% to £330 million. That was helped by retail expansion with the 58-year-old business currently having more than 80 stores in 20 countries and much wider exposure through its 240 concessions. They include mega-sized concessions in Harrods and Selfridges.

The firm has a broad spread of products across different price levels with the higher-end Kurt Geiger brand being complemented by the more affordable Carvela and Miss KG lines. It also has a growing handbags business that now accounts for up to 12% of total sales.

With the company speaking to large US-based companies about a possible sale, it reflects the firm’s international ambitions. It has been targeting US expansion recently and the Telegraph said CEO Neil Clifford ultimately wants it to have an international business that’s as big as its UK operations.

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