Michael Kors wins race to buy Jimmy Choo

US handbag maker and fashion brand Michael Kors has agreed to buy Jimmy Choo for about US$1.2 billion – equal to about 17.5 times the British luxury shoe brand’s adjusted Ebitda for last year.

Jimmy Choo rose to prominence in the late 1990s, boosted by high-profile devotees including the late Princess Diana and the fictional Carrie Bradshaw in the television series Sex and the City. The deal follows Michael Kors rival Coach agreeing to buy Kate Spade & Co. Coach also expressed an interest in buying Jimmy Choo.

Jimmy Choo was acquired by private-equity investors three times before being bought by JAB Holding for more than $650 million in 2011. JAB, the investment vehicle of the billionaire Reimann family, sold a stake in a 2014 IPO, but remained the majority owner with a 68 per cent stake.

Michael Kors says it will keep Jimmy Choo’s management team, led by CEO Pierre Denis.

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