Cinven, a European private equity firm, announced that it has closed an agreement to acquire Kurt Geiger, Europe’s largest retailer of luxury footwear, from Sycamore Partners, which only owned the brand for less than three years.
First established in London in 1963, Kurt Geiger today has a portfolio of successful brands, including Kurt Geiger London, KG, Miss KG and Carvela.
It operates more than 80 stores and 240 concessions around the world, including some of the most prestigious department stores like Harrods, Selfridges, Debenhams and House of Fraser.
“The business enjoys an attractive specialist retail model with multiple brands and routes to market. It is led by a strong, experienced and committed management team and we are looking forward to working with them to achieve the next phase of growth under Cinven’s ownership,” Maxim Crewe, partner at Cinven, said about the brand.
The acquisition’s amount was not disclosed publicly, but Cinven noted its interest in the brand for several reasons. These include pursuing further expansion opportunities, especially in Asia and Australia; further growing the UK’s footwear market, whose size is estimated at £8 billion and a forecasted annual growth of three per cent, according to Cinven data; and to leverage long-standing partnerships the footwear maker has with premium parties, among other reasons.
“Kurt Geiger has delivered strong growth through the cycle, whilst enjoying high cash conversion. Working together with management, we see real potential to develop further the omni-channel offering, as well as expand the business internationally,” Charles Miller-Jones, Senior Principal at Cinven, noted.
The brand’s current management team, with CEO Neil Clifford, CFO Dale Christilaw and creative director Rebecca Farrar-Hockley should continue their operations in their respective roles as usual after the transaction is complete.
“Our ambitions are significant and we believe Kurt Geiger will continue its successful track record of delivering strong growth both domestically and on the international stage,” the brand’s chief executive Clifford said.