Fashion house Jimmy Choo closes in on 550million deal

Fashion house Jimmy Choo closes in on 550million deal

Walking away (in fabulous heels): Tamara Mellon makes 85m by selling Jimmy Choos

2:13 AM on 23rd May 2011

Tamara Mellon, as fashion house Jimmy Choo, co-founded by former It-girl Mellon, is closing in on a sale to a German luxury goods group for around 550 million

Tamara Mellon, as fashion house Jimmy Choo, co-founded by former It-girl Mellon (pictured), is closing in on a sale to a German luxury goods group for around 550 million

Fashion house Jimmy Choo is closing in on a sale to a German luxury goods group for around 550million, it was reported today.

Labelux, whose other investments include retailer Bally, could announce it has bought the shoemaker as early as this week, the Sunday Telegraph said.

Jimmy Choo, co-founded by former It-girl Tamara Mellon, has been sold four times in the 15 years since its conception. The rumoured price is almost three times the amount owner TowerBrook paid for the business four years ago.

The deal will see Ms Mellon roll forward her 15% equity stake in the company and retain her role as chief creative officer.

The other final-round bidder, private equity firm TPG, is understood to have fallen out of the race after its bid valued the group below 500 million.

The group, which now has more than 100 stores in 32 countries, makes shoes which sell for up to 1,800, as well as handbags and accessories.

Malaysian designer Jimmy Choo launched the business in 1996 with Tamara Mellon and a 150,000 loan from her father Tommy Yeardye, who co-founded the Vidal Sassoon hairdressing chain.

Mr Choo sold his interest in 2001 when private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners invested roughly 9 million in the business.

Lion Capital took control in 2004 and TowerBrook bought a majority stake in the business in 2007, alongside Spanish venture capitalist Gala, in a deal which valued it at 185 million.

The Jimmy Choo brand has grown under TowerBrook”s ownership from a shoe specialist to a luxury goods brand with its products worn by the rich and famous.

TowerBrook were not immediately available for comment.