France's Interparfums told Reuters on Tuesday that it has a non-disclosure agreement with luxury shoe retailer Jimmy Choo and is, therefore, unable to discuss media reports that it is among potential bidders for the company. "We cannot comment because we are bound by an NDA," an Interparfums spokesman said, responding to a report by Women's Wear Daily. Interparfums’ NDA likely stems from its current license arrangement with Choo for the manufacture and marketing of Jimmy Choo fragrances.
Interparfums’ NDA revelation comes on the heels of a larger discussion we put forth on the state of legal protections put in place by fashion industry entities in order to keep unwanted information out of the public sphere. As we noted, the use of NDAs is spreading across the industry much like the previous wildfire-spread of the non-compete and non-solicitation clauses (the latter of which were previously used to keep high-level employees from jumping ship to competing companies and taking a slew of both colleagues and company know-how with them).
In April, London-based Jimmy Choo began seeking offers for the company as part of a review of its strategic options to maximize shareholder value. The British brand, which specializes in footwear and accessories, said it had discussed the strategic review process with its majority shareholder, JAB Luxury, which has confirmed it is supportive of the process.
Per Reuters, “Jimmy Choo said Britain's Takeover Panel has agreed that any talks with third parties may be conducted within the context of a ‘formal sale process’ to enable conversations with parties interested in making a proposal to take place on a confidential basis.
The sale follows years of strife between the label’s co-founder Choo, himself, and designer Tamara Mellon, who joined to launch the label in 1996. Mellon, who departed from Choo in 2012 with an estimated $135 million after a strained relationship with partner Jimmy Choo, is alleging that her former company is using underhanded business tactics to spike her new eponymous label’s success.