Alternative investment firm Investcorp is adding to its luxury goods portfolio with the addition of an iconic Scandinavian design firm.
The global money management firm has agreed to acquire high-end retailer Georg Jensen for $140 million from private equity group Axcel Capital Partners.
As part of this transaction, Investcorp has teamed up with David Chu, the luxury brand entrepreneur and founder of Nautica, who will join the company on closing as chief creative director and co-chairman of the board. Also joining the board on closing will be Guy Leymarie, former chief executive officer of DeBeers Diamond Jewellers, Cartier International and Dunhill.
Georg Jensen is a global luxury brand that designs, manufactures and distributes jewellery, watches, fine silverware and high-end homeware.
Hazem Ben-Gacem, head of Investcorp's European corporate investments activities, commented: "We are pleased to be entrusted with taking Scandinavia's preeminent luxury brand to a global level. We believe that in partnership with the current solid management team, led by Ulrik Garde Due, and luxury retail legend David Chu, Georg Jensen stands to become one of the leading hard luxury brands in the 21st century, leveraging on an over 100 year brand legacy and a unique Scandinavian design DNA that stems from the early work of Mr. Georg Jensen himself."
Georg Jensen was founded by the eponymous Danish designer in 1904. The business has 94 fully owned stores and three franchised stores across the world. In 2011, the company had sales of approximately $160 million. Georg Jensen is part of the Royal Scandinavia Group which was bought by Axcel in 2001.
Investcorp, with offices in New York, London and Bahrain, has three main business areas: corporate investment in the U.S., Europe and the Gulf; real estate investment in the U.S.; and global hedge funds. As of June 30, 2012, Investcorp had $11.5 billion in assets under management.