UK Footwear Group Up for Sale

Shoe Studio Group, one of the U.K.’s largest multibranded fashion footwear retailers, is up for sale.

The Mosaic group purchased Rubicon Retail Ltd., along with Shoe Studio Group, from Don McCarthy (now chairman and major shareholder of the U.K. department store chain House of Fraser) for $640 million in October 2006. With more than 270 locations within the U.K. and Ireland, Shoe Studio Group has a portfolio of brands that include Pied a Terre, Bertie, Roland Cartier, Nine West and Easy Spirit.

A statement issued Thursday said that after a review, managing director Gordon Baird concluded that Shoe Studio could better maximize opportunities forecasted in the U.K. footwear market “outside of the Mosaic group.”

According to the statement, the Mosaic board accepted the recommendation in an effort to realize its goal of developing its other women’s fashion brands in the U.K., internationally and online. Corporate advisory firm Hawkpoint has been secured, and Mosaic is in the process of valuing Shoe Studio.

“Two sectors that performed well in the run up to Christmas were food and footwear,” said George Wallace of MHE Retail. “With weak trading and the struggles of Icelandic company Baugar [a major shareholder in Mosaic group], disposing of this part of the group seems like a sensible move by Mosaic.”  

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