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Jimmy Choo Mulls $1B IPO

Luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo is mulling a 650 million pound ($1.08 billion) initial public offering in Hong Kong, Reuters reported, citing a piece in the Financial Times. Jimmy Choo is owned by buyout shop TowerBrook Capital Partners. A group of bidders is already vying for the shoemaker, with private equity group TPG Capital, U.S. clothing maker Jones Group and a consortium of Bahrain-based Investcorp and Germany’s Labelux reportedly bidding in the auction’s second round due in mid-May, Reuters wrote.

(Reuters) – British luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo is considering a 650 million pounds ($1.08 billion) initial public offering in Hong Kong, the Financial Times said in a unsourced report in its Thursday edition.

The move by the fashion house’s owner, buyout firm TowerBrook Capital Partners, would seek to stimulate competition among bidders vying for control of a brand made famous by the protagonists of the Sex and the City TV show, the FT said.

Neither Jimmy Choo nor TowerBrook were available for comment early on Thursday.

The report lists private equity group TPG Capital, U.S. clothing maker Jones Group and a consortium of Bahrain-based Investcorp and Germany’s Labelux as bidders for the auction’s second round due in mid-May.

HSBC would have proposed the IPO to Jimmy Choo and TowerBrook who would be taking that option seriously, the paper said.

Jones Chief Executive Wesley Card told Reuters in February that his company was looking to buy brands that would help extend Jones’ reach, particularly into overseas markets.

TowerBrook Capital Partners bought Jimmy Choo in 2007 for 185 million British pounds. Jimmy Choo, which was founded in 1996 in London, also runs a chain of boutiques worldwide.

(Reporting by Michel Rose, editing by Bernard Orr)