The CEO of London-based shoe retailer Kurt Geiger has cited the private equity environment as the salient reason for the success of the businesses.
Neil Clifford was commenting after the company picked up the Exit Management Team of the Year award from the British Private Equity & Venture Capital Association (BVCA).
Kurt Geiger, which opened its first shop on Bond Street in 1963, was bought by The Jones Group from London-headquartered private equity company Graphite Capital in June last year.
Clifford said: “We are obviously very pleased to be recognised with this award. We totally thrived in the private equity environment and it is honestly the main reason why the company is as successful as it is today.”
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Graphite had acquired Kurt Geiger from Barclays Private Equity in 2008. Under Graphite’s ownership the firm managed to double its number of stores and increase revenues by 70 per cent.
The private equity group’s senior partner Markus Golser said: “We’re delighted that Kurt Geiger’s management have won this award in recognition for the strong progress made by the business under our ownership.”
Kurt Geiger is known for creating popular high street brands such as KG and Carvela, while it is also the distributor of high-quality labels including Lipsy, French Connection and Nine West.
It currently has 49 company-owned retail locations and department stores, along with 156 multi-branded shoe concessions in the likes of House of Fraser, Selfridges and Harrods.
The retailer was one of seven award winners in the London and South East final of the management awards. All the winners will now go through to the national final at London’s Lancaster Hotel on July 5.
Travelex, backed by Apax Partners, picked up the award for Large Buyout Private Equity-Backed Management Team of the Year, while London-based Kelway Limited’s Philip Doyle won CEO of the year.
Chair of the BVCA London and South East judging panel Tim Farazmand said: “These awards are all about recognising the hard work and achievements of private equity and venture capital-backed management teams.
“It has been a challenging time for business and what all of this year’s winners so capably demonstrate is just what a positive impact private equity has on the British economy.”
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