LVMH has the luggage and the jewels; could the latest accessory in the wardrobe be Jimmy Choo?

Speculation has been growing in the press over the last few days that LVMH, the company behind numerous luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Donna Karan, TAGHeuer Watches and Moet and Chandon, could be interested in making a bid for Jimmy Choo, the shoemaker.

Jimmy Choo Ltd, the company co-founded by the man himself and Tamara Mellon back in 1996, was subject to an MBO backed by Towerbrook Capital back in 2007 (Zephyr deal number 513024), which in turn was an exit for Lion Capital (formerly Hicks Muse), which had invested back in 2004.

There had been speculation late last summer that Jimmy Choo would be sashaying down the IPO catwalk providing an exit for Towerbrook, however the stage now seems to be set for an auction.

Should the speculation be correct then this has been quite a frenetic period of activity for LVMH in terms of acquisitions. Within the last two weeks LVMH has launched a takeover offer for Bulgari, which is currently subject to regulatory approval, and in the autumn of 2010 LVMH took an initial 14.2% in Hermes. Within a couple of days it increased its stake in Hermes to just over 17%.

LVMH’s deal activity – a bit like its revenues and profits in 2009 and 2010 – doesn’t seem to have been greatly affected by the global economic downturn. Only time will tell whether or not Jimmy Choo will join LVMH’s increasingly full wardrobe.

Filed under: IPOs, retail, exit