Tom Hicks' last deal before stepping down from Hicks, Muse, Tate & Furst, the acquisition of UK footwear company Jimmy Choo, was a testament, in part, to the power of the popular HBO series “Sex and the City”.
The series follows the romantic adventures of four single women in New York. It also portrayed in explicit detail the craven lust that Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda and Samantha (left to right) hold for shoes, chief among them footwear made by Jimmy Choo. Aside from the onscreen plugs, the HBO web site provides an episode-by-episode “fashion credits” guide that lets viewers know what was worn in each scene. Choo shoes figure prominently. Happily for the footwear company's previous owner, London private equity firm Phoenix Equity Partners, the publicity helped kick the firm's investment up to a 3.8 times return on equity when Hicks Muse bought the company in November for $187 million. Whether Hicks Muse, with an office in London, can get the same rise out of Jimmy Choo remains to be seen.
“We've replaced 14 of our last 16 CEOs. People always ask, “Why do these CEOs stay on when you buy their companies?” It's because they always believe they'll be the ones not to get fired. And to be fair, two have been.”
Guy Hands, CEO of Terra Firma Capital Partners, on his firm's management retention policy, speaking at November's Private Equity International European Private Equity Forum in New York.
“The SEC reassured us that the registration rule would have nothing to do with venture capital or private equity. Thus, the NVCA had no official position. But after reading the 2003 SEC Hedge Fund Report, it was obvious that anyone could remove the word “hedge fund” and replace it with “venture capital” and the same logic would apply.”
Brian Borders, National Venture Capital Association, at the Greenwich Roundtable, on SEC hedge fund registration requirements.