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Barclays Private Equity sells Kurt Geiger in £95m buy-out backed by Graphite Capital

25 févr. 2008

Barclays Private Equity has sold Kurt Geiger, Europe's foremost luxury branded shoe retailer, in a £95m Buy-Out backed by Graphite Capital.  

Kurt Geiger, which was voted ‘Coolest Shoe Brand’ by Vogue readers in 2007, sells its own and third party premium and luxury footwear brands such as Prada, Gucci and Jimmy Choo, through a wide range of channels.   

These include top department stores such as Harrods, Selfridges, House of Fraser, John Lewis and Liberty. It also has 16 of its own stores, six airport outlets, international concessions in Printemps in France and La Rinascente in Italy and a range of licensing, wholesaling and franchising operations.  

Neil Clifford, Kurt Geiger’s chief executive, is leading the buy-out.  The team also includes buying and creative director, Rebecca Farrar-Hockley; finance director, Dale Christilaw; retail operations director, Sally McClymont; and wholesale and licensing director, Andrew Lee.   All will be reinvesting in the new company.  

Clifford said: “We offer some of the world’s best shoes in an unrivalled retail environment and are well recognised for the quality of our range and the high standard of our customer service.  We will continue to invest in new growth opportunities with our department store partners. With Graphite’s support we will pursue our strategic objective of becoming the leading global luxury and premium shoe retailer.”  

Graphite senior partner, Markus Golser, commented: “We are very excited to be backing a management team of such a high calibre.  Kurt Geiger has great depth in its design and merchandising functions and tremendous opportunity to consolidate its position as the leading luxury branded shoe retailer.” Graphite has a strong track record of successful investments in retail and consumer ventures such as Jane Norman, Maplin Electronics, Wagamama, Game and Paperchase. “We will use our retail expertise to support the management team’s ambitious growth plans,” Golser added.  

Steven Silvester, director at Barclays Private Equity, commented: “Kurt Geiger has provided us with a very good return on our investment and adds to our first class track record in the retail sector.  During the period of our involvement, and with our strong support and active encouragement, Neil Clifford and his team have taken the business from strength to strength.  At the same time, they have carefully laid the foundations for further growth both in the UK and overseas, which should allow the strong financial performance to continue under new ownership."

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