June 2, 2011, 3:56 PM

Jones acquires a luxury shoe brand

The deal for Kurt Geiger will expand Jones’ European reach.

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The Jones Group Inc. wants a bigger slice of the European luxury shoe market, including online.

To get that slice, Jones, which owns and operates NineWest and other apparel and accessories brands, is acquiring Kurt Geiger, a luxury shoe retailer based in the United Kingdom, in a cash deal valued at $350 million.

The deal for Kurt Geiger, which sells online at KurtGeiger.com and manufactures shoe brands such as Kurt Geiger, KG by Kurt Geiger, Carvela and Miss KG, also includes Jones taking on some debt, although an exact figure wasn’t disclosed.

Jones, No. 204 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will use the acquisition of Kurt Geiger, which generates annual sales of about $332 million, as the base of its European operations.

“This transaction is about pursuing opportunities to optimize our portfolio and establishing a strong foothold in Europe,” says Jones CEO Wesley Card.

Jones and Kurt Geiger didn’t release a date for when the acquisition will be complete. But when the deal is done Neil Clifford will continue as CEO, Rebecca Farrar Hockley will remain buying and creative director; and Dale Christilaw will continue as finance director.

Jones, which generated web sales of $71.9 million in 2010 is acquiring Kurt Geiger from Graphite -sales-rise-40-jones-Capital, a London-based private equity firm. In addition to expanding in Europe, Jones will use the acquisition to drive other international expansion. Kurt Geiger has already established a substantial presence in the Middle East, including stores across Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar, Russia, and Turkey, says Clifford.

Kurt Geiger began selling online in 2006. In recent years the site has been updated with bigger graphics, advanced guided site search and more rich media, the company says.

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