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The biggest UK shoe retailer by sales has been acquired by Cinven, its third owner in four years.
The leading European private equity firm, Cinven, is said to have acquired Kurt Geiger from the American Sycamore Partners for US$372 million, on a multiple of 8.2 times 2014’s earnings; compared to the European private equity sector average of 10 times.
Founded in 1963 on London’s Bond Street, Kurt Geiger is present in 80 countries, employing 1,700 people. Its total sales in 2014 represented US$394 million.
Kurt Geiger was owned by Mohamed Al Fayed, the former boss of Harrods, London’s iconic luxury department store until 2005 when it was sold to Barclays' private equity for £46m, and then to Graphite Capital in 2008. Jones, the U.S fashion group acquired Kurt Geiger in 2011.
The deal is in line with Sycamore's strategy of splitting up the Jones Group, which it acquired in March 2014 for US$2.2 billion, after the American fashion group ran into losses. Sycamore Partners already sold Stuart Weitzman, the women’s luxury shoemaker, to Coach, the US handbag and accessories group, earlier this year.
Although not expensive compared to luxury brands, Kurt Geiger is popular among celebrities such as American singer Rihanna thanks to its fast-fashion approach and catwalk interpretations.
Sources: Financial Times/International Business Times