Michael Kors is preparing a bid for rival Jimmy Choo, Australian media outlet Sky News reports. Luxembourg-based CVC Capital Partners and another, unnamed party is also said to be interested in the upscale footwear and accessories brand, according to the report.
Hony Capital, a Chinese private equity firm that owns international restaurant company PizzaExpress, is interested in Jimmy Choo’s fragrance business and is prepping a joint bid with Interparfums, which already holds the licenses for the brand’s fragrances, unnamed sources told Sky News.
In April, Jimmy Choo’s majority shareholder, JAB Luxury, an investment company run by German billionaire family Reimann, confirmed that the brand had put itself up for sale.
Jimmy Choo, founded in London in 1996 by Malaysian fashion designer Jimmy Choo and the then-Vogue editor Tamara Mellon, runs 150 stores worldwide. Choo and Mellon have since left the company, now run by CEO Pierre Denis and Creative Director Sandra Choi. The brand rose to prominence in the early part of the 21st century during the run of the television show “Sex and the City,” which positioned the uber-pricey footwear as a symbol of success for fashionable, independent women in New York.
Women's shoes remain the core of the product offer, alongside handbags, small leather goods, scarves, sunglasses, eyewear, belts and fragrances. More recently the company expanded to men's shoes — sales of which are growing more swiftly than sales of women’s items, even if they remain a smaller slice of the pie.
Sales have been sluggish of late, however, as the waning post-Brexit pound has helped dampen demand in Europe and the strong dollar has hurt sales Stateside. Sales in China, however, have remained robust.
High-end luxury retailers like Burberry and Kate Spade have also felt the pinch; comeback accessories retailer Coach in May snapped up Kate Spade for $2.4 billion.
Michael Kors, meanwhile, plans to close 125 stores over the next two years to raise its profit levels. That announcement came as the company in May reported a nearly $27 million and an 11.2% decline in revenue for its fourth quarter.