Jimmy Choo Owner Labelux Said to Hold Early Talks for Unit’s IPO

Jimmy Choo campaign 2014 | Source: Jimmy Choo

CASLANO, Switzerland — Jimmy Choo owner Labelux, the company that holds brands including Bally, has had preliminary meetings with bankers about the possible sale of a stake in the luxury shoemaker via an initial public offering, a person familiar with the matter said.

The company hasn’t made a final decision, said the person, who declined to be identified as the talks are confidential. Labelux would retain a majority stake in the business and use a sale to fund expansion in Asia, where sales are rising, the person said. The Sunday Times reported today that Labelux has held talks about an IPO of the business this year.

The business could be valued at about 1 billion pounds ($1.7 billion) in the mid-range of the estimated IPO pricing, the person said. Labelux bought Jimmy Choo in 2011 for more than 500 million pounds, a person familiar with the matter said at the time. Jimmy Choo was founded in 1996 by the shoemaker of the same name.

Jimmy Choo would follow luxury-goods makers including Moncler SpA, Salvatore Ferragamo SpA and Brunello Cucinelli SpA in offering stock to the public as Asian demand fuels earnings growth and draws investors. Shares in Moncler advanced 47 percent on the Italian skiwear maker’s first day of trading in December. Cucinelli, a maker of $3,195 cashmere cardigans, and Ferragamo, which sells $675 patent-leather platform heels, have more than doubled since they were listed in Milan in 2012 and 2011, respectively.

Initial public offerings of retail businesses have surged in London this year as investors return to the U.K. market. Discount online clothier Boohoo.com Plc on March 14 advanced 40 percent in its first day of trading. Pets at Home Group Plc and Poundland Group Plc, a discount retailer, also sold shares to the public last week.

The German billionaire Reimann family founded Labelux and the company is part of the family’s investment arm Joh A. Benckiser.

By: Andrew Roberts; Editors: Celeste Perri, Aaron Kirchfeld