Choo chooses to buy back his fashion chain

With the deadline for first round bids falling tomorrow, private equity firm TPG Capital and Permira-owned Valentino are also believed to  be in the running for the fashion chain. 

Choo sold off his interest in the business, which he set up in 1996 with the then Vogue accessories editor Tamara Mellon, to Phoenix Equity Partners. The investor took half of the company for less than £10m (€11.3m) in 2001. 

Now Malaysia-born Choo wants to buy back the company and is receiving support from a state-owned fund from his home country.

Jimmy Choo is thought to be worth as much as £500m and will bring in a strong return for TowerBrook Capital Partners and venture firm Gala Capital, which acquired Jimmy Choo when it was valued at £185m. 

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were hired last summer to advise on how to divest the asset and a sale was chosen over a listing. 

Sovereign wealth funds are becoming increasingly dominant investors. Data provider Preqin recently estimated that state-owned funds are sitting on an aggregate $4trn (€2.8trn), with assets under management having grown by 11 per cent in the last year. 

These cash rich funds are also increasingly investing in private equity – the proportion of SWFs investing in the asset class has risen from 55 to 59 per cent.

However, with so much cash on their balance sheets, state-owned vehicles are also expected to play a bigger role in direct investments, directly competing with private equity firms to buy companies. 

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