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JAB is said to start formal sale process for shoemaker Bally

[HONG KONG] JAB Holding Co, owned by the billionaire Reimann family, has kicked off the sale process for luxury shoe brand Bally International AG, which could fetch at least 600 million euros (S$963.86 million), people with knowledge of the matter said.

JAB has sent out marketing materials to potential suitors and asked for indicative bids by the middle of September, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The sale is expected to draw interest from private equity firms and Asian fashion companies, the people said.

The Vienna-based family's JAB said in April it was reviewing options for Bally to focus on its food and beverage business, which has grown into one of the world's largest coffee sellers through the acquisitions of Keurig Green Mountain Inc and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. Last month the firm bought Panera Bread Co in a deal that valued the bakery-cafe chain at about US$7.5 billion, including debt.

Also in July, JAB agreed to sell London-based shoemaker Jimmy Choo Plc to Michael Kors Holdings Ltd for about US$1.2 billion. A representative for JAB declined to comment on the Bally sale process.

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Founded in Schonenwerd, Switzerland in 1851, Bally makes luxury leather shoes that range from loafers to fur-lined winter boots, as well as accessories like belts, bags and wallets and clothing for men and women.

It was previously owned by US buyout firm TPG, which struggled to turn it around after years of losses. When a unit of JAB acquired Bally in 2008 it had more than 400 million Swiss francs (S$562.4 million) in annual sales.


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