British luxury brand Jimmy Choo - whose high heeled shoes are loved by the rich and famous - has announced plans to float on the London Stock Exchange.
From Carrie Bradshaw to Kate Middleton - Jimmy Choo has long been a luxury shoe of choice. Now the company is hoping to woo investors too with its first public offering. The shoe and accessories brand has around 120 shops worldwide. It's planning to float a quarter stake next month in London, with a price tag of at least £700 million pounds. It will make Jimmy Choo the third luxury listed group in London, joining FTSE 100 listed Burberry and Aim listed Mulberry. Jimmy Choo's offering comes at a time when the luxury industry has been hit by slowing growth in emerging economies. But Chris Beauchamp doesn't see the firm having a problem. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "I think it still has the strength to carry firms like Jimmy Choo through the IPO and beyond. Burberry has weathered the storm fairly well. You have declining growth in China and declining demand in China, not just because of the clamp down on bribery issues there but there is still room in the market for a firm like Jimmy Choo if it sticks to its core expertise." It's been a buoyant year so far for IPOs in London. But a number of firms had reportedly put floatation plans on hold until after the Scottish referendum vote, fearing a yes vote would cause chaos in the markets. Aldermore retail bank and RAC road recovery are also reportedly gearing up to float. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRIS BEAUCHAMP, SAYING: "In a sense it does remove one area of worry for investors, but I think more broadly it is probably a good time I think for Jimmy Choo to begin thinking about listing. The environment still seems fairly conducive and it does have a very strong business. Emerging markets and that grow area isn't what it was, but the fact they have concentrated on the high end and medium to high end of the market, does mean they are fairly insulated from any major economic troubles." Jimmy Choo is showing little sign of slowing down. It's been opening between 10 and 15 shops a year with first half sales up nearly 10 percent. Last year they reached 280 million pounds. It's a long way from its humble beginnings as a one-man bespoke shoe-maker in London's east-end. The firm - now owned by JAB Luxury- says it will use funds from the flotation to expand further in Asia and and other new markets.