City trio advise private equity bidders on Kurt Geiger sell-off

Addleshaw Goddard, SJ Berwin and Travers Smith landed key roles in the sale of designer shoe brand Kurt Geiger, which had created interest from a number of private equity buyers.

Graphite Capital beat off competition from Advent and 3i to become the backer for the £95m management buyout of the company.

Travers Smith partner Charles Barter represented the seller Barclays Private Equity, while Addleshaws advised the Kurt Geiger management team on the management buyout, led by London corporate partner and private equity specialist Mike Hinchliffe.

Graphite Capital was represented by an SJ Berwin team led by private equity partner Martin Bowen. Hinchliffe said: “It’s good to see something done of this size in retail at the moment – and the management were very pleased with the deal as well.”

Kurt Geiger was an existing client for Addleshaws’ commercial team, but this is the first time the firm has acted for the company on a corporate deal.

Kurt Geiger management used Eversheds when Barclays Private Equity completed a £46m management buyout from the Harrods Group in July 2005.

Travers Smith advised Barclays Private Equity on both that acquisition and on the recent sale.

A DLA Piper team led by finance partner Peter Crichton represented the bank funders on the latest sale. Lloyds TSB and the Royal Bank of Scotland provided all the senior and a majority of the mezzanine debt funding.