Jimmy Choo – A Hakka Penang Boy
This ‘one in a million’ guy is a Penang Hakka Chinese, born into a family of cobbler. Became a shoe designer (he even created his first pairs at the age of 11) and moved to London. His life voyages which liken a typical Malay movie plot brought him to a level where Jimmy Choo is now. The brand is best known for its exquisitely hand-made, incredibly expensive shoes and handbags.
In May of 1996 Tamara Mellon, former UK Vogue accessories editor, bought 50% of Choo’s company and she along with Choo’s niece, Sandra Choi, then launched the ready-to-wear line. Since then the company has stretched out across the globe with list of celebrity and elegant clientele. In April 2001, it partnered with Equinox Luxury Holdings Ltd. Equinox who acquired Mr Choo’s share with Robert Bensoussan, Equinox’s chief executive becoming CEO of Jimmy Choo. Three years later, in November 2004, Lion Capital acquired a majority shareholding in Jimmy Choo. Now, Jimmy Choo, a luxury brand name expands over 60 stores worldwide.
And here is the latest acquisition:- Jimmy Choo Sold for $364 Million By BLOOMBERG NEWSPublished: February 5, 2007
TowerBrook Capital Partners has agreed to buy Jimmy Choo Ltd., whose shoes are worn by celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, for £185 million ($364 million). TowerBrook, the buyout firm spun off from George Soros’s fund management business, and Jimmy Choo’s management, including its founder, Tamara Mellon, and chief executive, Robert Bensoussan, will buy the company from Lion Capital, TowerBrook said yesterday in a statement.
Mr. Bensoussan plans to work with TowerBrook to make further unspecified acquisitions in the luxury goods sector, he said in the statement. Jimmy Choo has expanded to more than 60 shops around the world, from 23 when Lion Capital bought the company in 2004, according to the statement. Annual sales are about $128 million, TowerBrook said. “Having realized our return expectations, we have decided to exit our investment,” said Lyndon Lea, a founding partner of Lion Capital.
Jimmy Choo was founded in London in 1996 and now has outlets around the world, from San Francisco to Tokyo. The company’s Web site advertises shoes at more than $600 and handbags at more than $2,000.