Graphite buys Kurt Geiger from Barclays

Mid-market private equity house Graphite Capital has backed a management buy-out of shoe retailer Kurt Geiger from its current owner, Barclays Private Equity.

The deal is worth some £95 million, with Lloyds TSB and The Royal Bank of Scotland both providing debt.

CEO Neil Clifford is leading the buy-out team, which also includes buying and creative director Rebecca Farrar Hockley, finance director Dale Christilaw, retail operations director Sally McClymont and wholesale and licensing director Andrew Lee. All are investing in the deal.

Graphite is taking a substantial majority stake in Kurt Geiger through its latest fund, Graphite Capital Partners VII, which raised £555 million in May last year. It is the second acquisition made by the fund following the buy-out of recruitment business Alexander Mann Solutions. Senior partner Markus Golser managed the transaction for Graphite.

Barclays says it achieved a ‘very good’ return on its investment in the business.

Kurt Geiger sells own-branded footwear as well as shoes from brands including Gucci, Prada and Jimmy Choo. The company has 96 trading locations, including 70 concessions in department stores and six airport outlets.

Graphite Capital manages £1.2 billion through three private funds and publicly quoted Graphite Enterprise Trust. It focuses on management buy-outs and buy-ins, expansion capital, re-financings and turnarounds, and invests in transactions with values of between £25 million and £200 million.

Marc Barber

Marc Barber

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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