Apax Partners and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts have confirmed that they are considering a bid for Signet Group, a UK-based jewellery retailer, which could be worth more than £2 billion (€2.94 billion).
Apax and KKR said that no decision has been made whether to make a formal offer for Signet Group. Signet said in a statement that no formal offer has been received.
UK free business daily City AM said today that the two private equity firms are working on a 132 pence offer for Signet Group, valuing the business at £2.3 billion.
Signet Group operates 590 specialty retail jewellery stores in the UK under the brands H.Samuel, Ernest Jones and Leslie Davis. In the US, the group has 1,847 stores trading under the names Kay Jewelers and Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, amongst others.
Zale, America’s largest jewellery retailer with 2,345 stores, terminated merger talks with Signet Group in June of this year. Zale said at the time that it had “concluded that its shareholders are best served by continuing as an independent company”.
Apax exited its previous investment in the jewellery retail sector with the sale of Histoire D’Or, a French jewellery business, to PPM Capital, a UK mid-market firm, for €230 million in February.
The same month, CDC Enterprises Capital, a French buyout firm, acquired France’s Marc Orian from Crédit Agricole Private Equity, the private equity arm of the French bank, for €140 million.