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Jimmy Choo unveils London IPO to fund Asia expansion/AFP

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Jimmy Choo unveils London IPO to fund Asia expansion

Jimmy Choo unveils London IPO to fund Asia expansion/AFP

Jimmy Choo unveils London IPO to fund Asia expansion/AFP

LONDON, September 23- Shoemaker to the stars Jimmy Choo unveiled plans Tuesday for a London stock market float valuing it at up to £800 million ($1.3 billion, 1.0 billion euros) to fund expansion in Asia.

The company said in a statement that its owner, investment firm JAB Luxury, has agreed to float a 25 percent stake in a partial initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange next month.

The top end luxury brand, whose shoes retail at beween £350 and £2,100 per pair, counts Kate Middleton, Nicole Kidman, Victoria Beckham and Lady Gaga among its celebrity fans.

The company is seeking to tap further into booming Asian demand for luxury goods, particularly in China and Japan.

“Jimmy Choo is an outstanding business operating in one of the fastest growing segments of the luxury market,” said Pierre Denis, chief executive of Jimmy Choo, in Tuesday’s statement.

“Jimmy Choo is a clear success story with strong momentum and I am confident that our future as a public company can only extend our reputation and position in this attractive sector.”

A source close to the matter told AFP that the group was seeking to raise up to £200 million from the IPO in late October.

 

– Celebrity fans –

 

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The brand was founded by Malaysia born Jimmy Choo in 1996 with British socialite Tamara Mellon.

It became a household name after repeatedly featuring on high profile TV shows including “Sex and the City”, and was worn by celebrities and royalty, including Britain’s Princess Diana.

Jimmy Choo has since developed into a luxury fashion brand encompassing shoes, handbags, leather goods, scarves, eye wear and fragrances.

Since the opening of its first store in London in 1996, the company has grown to become a leading global luxury brand with 120 shops worldwide and annual sales of £282 million.

Revenues jumped 9.4 percent to £150.2 million in the first half of this year, or six months to the end of June, compared with a year earlier.

Shoes are widely regarded as one of the fastest growing segments of the global luxury goods market.

 

– Asian markets targeted –

 

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The company added on Tuesday that it would continue to open 10 to 15 stores a year, with growth in Asian markets a key target.

“Since JAB Luxury acquired Jimmy Choo in 2011, the business has undergone significant investment and is now comprehensively scaled for growth,” added the group’s non executive chairman Peter Harf.

London based haute couture designer Jimmy Choo sold his interest in the luxury goods firm that bears his name in 2001.

It has since been owned by various private equity firms until 2011, when German-owned JAB acquired the business.

The group now straddles the globe, with operations in Europe, the Americas, the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Australia.

“Jimmy Choo’s aim is to shift to a regional mix more in line with the wider luxury market through growth in Asia and selected new markets, whilst maintaining its presence in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the United States,” it added Tuesday.

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