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Kurt Geiger sold to Cinven

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Private equity firm Cinven has bought Kurt Geiger as part of its Christmas shopping, for an undisclosed sum. 

Cinven picked up the footwear and accessories retailer from Sycamore partners. The Kurt Geiger package includes a portfolio of brands (such as Kurt Geiger London, KG, Miss KG and Carvela), 80 standalone global stores, partnerships with international brands and 240 concessions within renowned department stores including Harrods and Selfridges. 

The UK footwear market is growing. Currently valued at around £8bn, it’s a sector with 3% annual forecast growth. 

The buyout firm outlined that Kurt Geiger has a proven omni-channel business model, operating thirty party concessions, owned and international franchised stores together with high-growth ecommerce sites.  

The takeover was seen as a “highly attractive investment opportunity” based on further expansion opportunities, both through in-market consolidation, digitisation strategy and international growth, including further rollouts in Asia and Australia.  

There is also potential to expand the upmarket retailer’s own brand offering into adjacent categories such as the children’s footwear segment.  

Cinven also said that there is a proven track record of consistent growth during economic cycles, confirming the “highly regarded management team” (CEO Neil Clifford, CFO Dale Christilaw and Creative Director Rebecca-Farrar-Hockley) will continue in their key roles under new ownership.  

“Kurt Geiger represents an exciting opportunity to acquire the UK’s leading women’s footwear and accessories company with significant international growth and consolidation opportunities,” commented Maxim Crewe, Partner at Cinven. “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.” 

Kurt Geiger is the UK’s largest shoe retailer by sales. In the year ended 31 December 2014, it generated sales of £260m and continues to invest in new and existing outlets throughout the UK.

Published on Monday 14 December by Veebs Sabharwal

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