Luxury brands Bally and Jimmy Choo put up for sale

Jimmy Choo, the spiked-heeled shoe brand made popular on Sex and the City, surprised the fashion world Monday by saying it's seeking a buyer. PHOTO: REUTERS
A man walks past a window display at a branch of Jimmy Choo in London, on April 24, 2017.
A man walks past a window display at a branch of Jimmy Choo in London, on April 24, 2017. PHOTO: REUTERS
Shoes on display in the window of Jimmy Choo in central London, on April 24, 2017
Shoes on display in the window of Jimmy Choo in central London, on April 24, 2017PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

LONDON • Investment firm JAB has put shoemakers Jimmy Choo and Bally International up for sale as it focuses on its growing food and coffee operations.

JAB Luxury, part of the investment arm of the billionaire Reimann family, said yesterday that it is reviewing strategic options for Jimmy Choo and Bally.

The closely held company has expanded a push into non-luxury areas, this month agreeing to buy Panera Bread for about US$7.2 billion (S$10 billion), adding a bakery cafe chain to a food empire spanning coffee, bagels and doughnuts.

It is also the biggest shareholder in cosmetics-maker Coty.

"JAB has made the strategic decision to focus on its successful core business of consumer goods, including Coty," it said.

London-based Jimmy Choo, maker of the £895 (S$1,600) Lolita 100 sandals, yesterday said it will conduct a review of strategic options to maximise value for shareholders and is seeking offers.

JAB followed with separate statements saying it supported the Jimmy Choo review and is considering options for Bally, the Swiss-based seller of clothing and footwear.

Jimmy Choo, whose fans have ranged from the late Princess Diana to the fictional Carrie Bradshaw of TV show Sex And The City, has seen its shares rebound over the past nine months as demand for premium goods has revived.

It could attract interest from a larger luxury player trying to build up its portfolio of shoes and accessories, which are seeing rising consumer demand amid a rebound in key markets such as China.

Before agreeing to buy Panera Bread, JAB snapped up chains including Peet's Coffee & Tea, Caribou Coffee and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, turning it into one of three big global players in the coffee business, alongside Starbucks and Nestle.

Jimmy Choo shares rose 9.8 per cent to a record 185 pence at 9.52am in London, valuing the company at about £702 million.

Its products are sold at more than 150 of its own shops worldwide, as well as department stores and other outlets.

Revenue rose 15 per cent last year to £364 million, boosted by the fall in the pound since Britain's vote to leave the European Union, which increases the value of overseas sales when converted into the British currency.

BLOOMBERG

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on , with the headline 'Luxury brands Bally and Jimmy Choo put up for sale'. Print Edition | Subscribe