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Kurt Geiger Could Go Up For Sale Again in ‘Coming Months’

Kurt Geiger could be up for auction in the coming months.

According to reports, the private equity parent company of the UK-based footwear and accessories company, Cinven, is in talks with advisers at Bank of America to explore a possible auction of the brand.

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A sale process is expected to begin in the coming months, with interest anticipated from luxury goods groups and other buyout firms, Sky News reported earlier this week. Some reports have the deal valued at 400 million British pounds ($486 million based on current exchange rate).

FN has reached out to Kurt Geiger for comment.

Kurt Geiger has been a fixture in the footwear industry since 1963, when it opened its first boutique on Bond Street in London. Since then, the company has landed in the hands of many private owners across multiple decades.

According to The Guardian, the business was first sold by Mr. Geiger’s widow to the Spitz family in 1972 for an undisclosed sum. David Spitz, the South African-born businessman who founded Carvela shoes, then sold his retailing business and Kurt Geiger to House of Fraser, owned at the time by Mohamed Al Fayed who held onto the brand for 20 years.

In 2005, Al Fayed, who by then owned Harrods and the Paris Ritz hotel, sold Kurt Geiger to a management buyout team for 46 million pounds. The deal was backed by Barclays Private Equity and saw the venture capital firm retain a 72 percent stake in the business.

Then, in 2008, Barclays sold its stake to Graphite Capital, which held onto Kurt Geiger until 2011 when it sold the brand to The Jones Group for $350 million. And another management-led buyout came in 2014 with the help of Sycamore Partners that transpired when the former Jones Group portfolio was broken up into pieces. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Finally, Kurt Geiger found its latest home in Cinven in 2015 in a deal with Sycamore valued at $372 million. Since joined the private equity giant, Kurt Geiger has increased its overseas presence in recent years. This expansion was helped by a new $190 million funding package provided by Blazehill Capital and Wells Fargo Capital Finance UK in June to refinance its existing debt.

A new phase of expansion was heralded last month with the company opened a new 2,916-square-foot store on London’s Oxford Street. At the time of the opening, the company said it marked the first step in a major retail rollout that will see it open nine stores in North America in the coming year.

Starting this month, Kurt Geiger is slated to open three stores in Mexico with local partner El Palacio before moving across the border to the U.S., the brand’s largest market globally.

In April, the brand will begin its U.S. rollout, opening a 1,500-square-foot store at Aventura Mall in Miami. Kurt Geiger plans to open a second standalone unit in Florida, three in southern California, and one in New York.

The brand is already distributed in the U.S. through Nordstrom, Dillard’s, Bloomingdale’s and online. Overall, Kurt Geiger has 400 points of sale in North America.

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