Marco Capello, owner and chairman of premium London department store Liberty, has signalled he is interested in adding footwear retailer Jones Bootmaker to build a retail portfolio.
BlueGem Capital Partners, the investment vehicle that Capello co-founded in 2006 and which acquired Liberty in June, has requested information about Jones Bootmaker from BDO, the accountancy firm that is handling the sale. The sales document is due to be published in the next two weeks.
A source close to the situation said: “They are a very interested party. I would expect them be a proper punter.” In August, Jones Bootmaker hoisted a for sale sign above the company with a price tag of up to £50m. EBITDA at Jones Bootmaker almost trebled from £1.4m to £4m in the year to January 30, 2010, thanks to a strategy to focus on more branded merchandise.
Jones Bootmaker chief executive Ken Bartle declined to comment on the sale process, and Capello was unavailable for comment.
Fellow footwear retailer Office is also up for sale with a potential price tag of up to £200m.
An Office spokesman said it had up to three parties seriously interested in the business.