Footwear deals keep on walking

Yesterday it was announced that the UK shoe retailer Kurt Geiger has been acquired for $350m by US-based Jones Group. Nothing essentially exciting about this deal at face value but, when you look at the bigger picture, there have been 55 deals this year involving footwear retailers / footwear manufacturers. And this deal follows the high profile acquisitions of Jimmy Choo shoes by Labelux Group for $811m, and Hermes, although that is a complete luxury goods company as opposed to just solely footwear.

Already total deal value for the year involving these footwear companies has surpassed the $13bn figure, which is close to 2007 full year levels. And if we look a little bit closer at the deals this year it becomes more obvious as to why. Fifteen of the deals, accounting for 12% of the total deal value, have either been private equity exits or private equity investments into this sector, with three of the top five deals involving financial sponsors as either the buyer or the seller.

The thing about footwear is that shoes are a great leveller. Whether rich or poor we all need them, hence the diversity of companies, at the luxury end or the more mass market end of the scale, that are the subject of these deals.

Filed under: retail