Investcorp is to acquire Scandinavian luxury retailer Georg Jensen for $140 million from private equity group Axcel Capital Partners. As part of the transaction, Investcorp has teamed up with David Chu, a luxury brand entrepreneur and founder of Nautica, who will join the company on closing as chief creative director and co-chairman of the board.
Investcorp, a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products, today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Scandinavia’s leading luxury retailer Georg Jensen for $140 million from private equity group Axcel Capital Partners. As part of this transaction, Investcorp has teamed up with David Chu, the luxury brand entrepreneur and founder of Nautica, who will join the company on closing as Chief Creative Director and co-Chairman of the Board. Also joining the Board on closing will be Guy Leymarie, former Chief Executive Officer of DeBeers Diamond Jewellers, Cartier International and Dunhill.
Georg Jensen is a global luxury brand that designs, manufactures and distributes jewellery, watches, fine silverware and high-end homeware. With a history that spans over 100 years, the Georg Jensen brand has a deep heritage in silversmith and represents quality craftsmanship and timeless designs.
Hazem Ben-Gacem, Head of Investcorp’s European corporate investments activities, commented: “We are pleased to be entrusted with taking Scandinavia’s preeminent luxury brand to a global level. We believe that in partnership with the current solid management team, led by Ulrik Garde Due, and luxury retail legend David Chu, Georg Jensen stands to become one of the leading hard luxury brands in the 21st century, leveraging on an over 100 year brand legacy and a unique Scandinavian design DNA that stems from the early work of Mr Georg Jensen himself.”
Ulrik Garde Due, CEO of Georg Jensen since 2007, said: “We are delighted to be working with Investcorp, which has an unrivalled experience of building luxury brands. Investcorp’s commitment to developing the brand will ensure we are able to further strengthen Georg Jensen’s position globally as the leading Scandinavian luxury lifestyle brand.”
David Chu, the new co-Chairman of the Board and Chief Creative Director, said: “I am proud to team up with such an outstanding management team to together lead Georg Jensen forward. It has a world famous design heritage and a global reputation for outstanding luxury product and quality that we will take to the next level.”
Georg Jensen was founded by the eponymous Danish designer in 1904. Today the business has 94 fully owned stores and three franchised stores across the world. The vertically integrated Company has approximately 1,200 employees worldwide. In 2011, the Company had sales of approximately $160 million. Georg Jensen is part of the Royal Scandinavia Group which was bought by Axcel in 2001.
Investcorp is a leading provider and manager of alternative investment products. Investcorp has offices in London, New York and Bahrain and is publicly traded on the Bahrain Bourse (INVCORP). Investcorp has three business areas: corporate investment in the US, Europe and the Gulf, real estate investment in the US and global hedge funds. As at June 30, 2012, Investcorp had $11.5 billion in assets under management.