Georg Jensen sold to Bahrain investors
New owners are luxury brand experts that hope to break Georg Jensen into Chinese market
Luxury jewellery and design brand Georg Jensen is being bought by the Bahrain-based Investcorp for 813 million kroner, it was announced today.
The Copenhagen-based company is being sold by the private equity group Axcel Capital Partners, which bought Georg Jensen in 2001.
As part of the deal, Georg Jensen will get a new creative director with David Chu, a luxury brand entrepreneur who earned millions building and selling the clothing company Nautica.
Guy Leymarie, former managing director of DeBeers Diamond Jewellers, Cartier International and Dunhill, will also be joining the board.
It is expected that the new owners will attempt to break Georg Jensen into the lucrative Chinese market, where it has yet to make an impact despite 40 percent of its sales stemming from Asia.
With a portfolio worth about 67 billion kroner, Investcorp is a specialist in luxury brands and owns Gucci and Tiffany and Co.
Its experience in the luxury markets means that expectations under its ownership are high.
In a press release Ulrik Garde Due, managing director of Georg Jensen, said: “Investcorp's commitment to developing the brand will ensure we are able to further strengthen Georg Jensen's position globally as the leading Scandinavian luxury lifestyle brand."
Investcorp’s head of European investments, Hazem Ben-Gacem, also added that the company’s fate rested on its new management.
“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."
Designer and silversmith Georg Jensen founded the company in 1904 and now has about 100 shops 1,200 employees around the world.
In 2011, the company had sales of approximately 930 million kroner