LONDON — Fashion’s initial public offering fever shows no signs of cooling, and the latest company said to be mulling an IPO is Jimmy Choo.
This story first appeared in the March 17, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
According to industry sources familiar with the situation, Jimmy Choo has embarked on a path that could lead to an IPO over the next 12 months, with a market valuation of 1 billion pounds, or $1.66 billion at current exchange.
However, the sources said there are “many other options on the table,” and that floating a minority stake is just one of them. Jimmy Choo’s parent, Labelux Group, has met with investment bankers over the past month to discuss the possibility of a partial IPO, but talks are apparently at a very early stage.
On Sunday, Labelux declined to comment on its plans for a float and said: “Jimmy Choo is a clear success story with strong momentum, and we regularly review the status of our investments. No decision has been taken.”
An industry source told WWD: “Labelux has a long-term vision and development plan for Jimmy Choo and has no intention of giving up control of the company. If there is any listing at all, it will be a minority one. The company has been expanding over the past three years, and it’s a very normal process to discuss the next steps to accelerate growth. The reality is that anything can happen in this climate: There is a financial bubble that favors IPOs now, but anything can happen to change that. Look at what is happening in Ukraine.”
News of a possible Jimmy Choo IPO first appeared in The Sunday Times of London.
Jimmy Choo has been notching “high-double-digit growth” in the past three years since Labelux Group, whose holdings also include Bally and Belstaff, acquired it in a deal valuing Jimmy Choo at 549 million pounds, or $889.4 million.
Under its creative director Sandra Choi, the company has expanded its offer beyond the stiletto and into men’s wear, accessories, and fragrance. Last month it launched a collection called Choo.08°, a collection of flats, trainers, and lower heels aimed at women who spend their days running between appointments. In September, Choo will launch its first men’s fragrance with Inter Parfums.
In December, Jimmy Choo relaunched its Web site as part of its vision to become an omnichannel operation, and later this year plans to unveil local-language transactional Web sites in Japan and China. Under the stewardship of chief executive officer Pierre Denis, the brand has been pushing deeper into Asia and international markets.
It opened a men’s store in Shanghai in December, and will open one on the luxury shopping street of Omotesando in Tokyo in March. In April, Jimmy Choo will unveil its new shop concept, designed by David Collins Studio, in Beverly Hills.
There have been several recent fashion and retail IPOs. On Friday, online fast-fashion retailer Boohoo.com went public on London’s AIM market and saw its shares rocket 70 percent to a high of 85 pence, or $1.41, while the Indian online fashion retailer Koovs successfully made its debut on the same London market on March 10.