US retailer Michael Kors has agreed to buy luxury shoemaker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion, snapping up a British company whose towering stilettos have been made famous by celebrity customers from Princess Diana to Kendall Jenner.
The move comes two months after rival handbag maker Coach struck a deal to buy quirky fashion brand Kate Spade & Co, as so-called affordable luxury companies look to go into new markets to try to boost flagging sales.
“Jimmy Choo is an iconic premier luxury brand that offers distinctive footwear, handbags and other accessories,” said Michael Kors, honorary chairman and chief creative officer.
“We admire the glamorous style and trend-setting nature of Jimmy Choo designs.”
Founded by bespoke shoemaker Jimmy Choo in the east end of London in the 1990s, Jimmy Choo Plc listed at 140 pence in 2014 and will sell out at 230 pence.
Its strong performance stands in contrast to Michael Kors which has lost 65 per cent of its market value since 2014 due to fierce competition at the more affordable end of the luxury market and a drop in customers at department stores.