London, England, United Kingdom (AHN) – Jimmy Choo owner TowerBrook Capital Partners L.P. has hired Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to investigate “new strategic initiatives and new partnerships.” After all the indecision drama with Jimmy Choo’s CEO Tamara Mellon and what the fate of Jimmy Choo will be, it’s about time steps were taken to help figure out the sky-high shoe designer/retailer’s fate.
It was reported last week in the UK’s Telegraph newspaper that Mellon was considering buying back Jimmy Choo, the shoe business she founded 16 years ago, before the announcement that TowerBrook appointed Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. A handful of sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and private individuals reportedly have already approached Mellon about backing her in a 500 million bid.
Women’s Wear Daily reported that TowerBrook and Mellon plan to increase Jimmy Choo’s retail growth and explore new product development options.
“Jimmy Choo is an important investment for TowerBrook,” Ramez Sousou, the private equity firm’s co-chief executive officer, told WWD. “We are now initiating a review of the best strategic and financing options for the business to support its long-term development and continued success. We are proud to be associated with this brand and team and remain highly committed shareholders.”
Mellon has approximately 17 percent stake in Jimmy Choo, with TowerBrook Capital owning the majority of the shares. Mellon founded the company in 1996 with a 150,000 loan from her father, Tommy Yeardye, who co-founded the Vidal Sassoon hair products empire. The designer, Choo, sold his 50 percent stake in the company in 2001 for 10m. Ever since, Choo has focused on his couture line.