Austin’s Kendra Scott lands new investment

The deal estimates the jewelry company’s value at more than $1 billion, according to media reports.


Since launching a jewelry line with $500 from a spare bedroom in 2002, Kendra Scott has grown her Austin-based business into a powerhouse brand sold by retailers like Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, and at more than 600 boutiques worldwide.

Now, as Kendra Scott Design prepares for a new wave of growth, the company said it has received an investment from private equity firm Berkshire Partners. In the deal, Berkshire Partners has acquired a significant minority stake in the company, according to the announcement.

Kendra Scott did not disclose the size of the investment. Reuters news service reported that the deal values the company at more than $1 billion.

Berkshire said Scott will remain majority shareholder and CEO of her company, and other senior company leaders will remain in their current position.

“We are delighted to have Berkshire invest with us at a very exciting time for our company,” Scott said in a written statement. “Berkshire has significant experience in helping leading brands maximize their potential and a deep appreciation for the Kendra Scott culture and organization.”

Kendra Scott’s jewelry line includes earrings, necklaces, rings and charms, which are recognizable by their custom shapes and stones. Customers can also customize Kendra Scott jewelry at “Color Bars” in retail stores and online, where they can choose a stone, metal and shape.

The company has also expanded into home decor, including trays, jewelry stands and picture frames.

This year, Kendra Scott moved into a new headquarters in the Lamar Central mixed-use development at West 38th Street and North Lamar Boulevard.

In addition to occupying Lamar Central’s entire fourth floor — 43,500 square feet of space — Kendra Scott also operates a 1,500-square-foot flagship retail store on the building’s ground floor.

Berkshire Partners, based in Boston, has raised nine private equity funds with more than $16 billion in capital commitments. It focuses on on consumer goods and retail businesses, communications, business services and industrial production and health care.

“Kendra and her team have built an authentic brand that is widely loved,” Marni Payne, a managing director at Berkshire Partners, said in a written statement. “The company’s deep focus on its customers, commitment to product innovation and culture of giving back has led to impressive growth.”

The Berkshire Partners investment, which is subject to standard closing conditions, is expected be completed in the first quarter of 2017.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

Austin billionaire DeJoria selling off Patron Spirits
Austin billionaire DeJoria selling off Patron Spirits

Bacardi Limited said Monday that plans to swallow the rest of Patron Spirits in a deal that values the tequila maker at $5.1 billion. Bacardi has held a minority stake in Patron since 2008. The two private companies on Monday didn’t disclose terms of the deal for the remainder of Patron. The acquisition is expected to close in the first half...
After strong 2017 finish, outlook bright for Austin office market
After strong 2017 finish, outlook bright for Austin office market

The Austin-area’s office market rolled to a strong finish in 2017, new reports show, propelled by Fortune 500 companies including Facebook Inc., Google, Indeed and HomeAway signing sizeable office leases in the market last year. Major lease transactions were the theme of 2017, according to the latest office market report from the Austin office...
Up the Ladder

Credit unions Greater Texas Credit Union has named Lisa Bateman vice president-consumer lending. Consulting Potomac Strategy Group has named Jamie Bennett vice president. E-Commerce Twyla has named Thomas Galbraith chief executive officer. Health care HNI Healthcare has named Michael Saunders president. Law firms Weisbart Springer Hayes has named Mia...
Top Local Business Stories of the Week
Top Local Business Stories of the Week

TEXAS ECONOMY With tax overhaul as ‘tailwind,’ regional economy surged, Dallas Fed says: Economic activity in Texas and parts of two neighboring states surged over the past six weeks, as the federal tax overhaul boosted confidence across a wide range of businesses in the region, according to a report last week from the Federal Reserve Bank...
Despite tight labor market, Austin job growth maintains momentum
Despite tight labor market, Austin job growth maintains momentum

Back around the middle of last year, workforce experts looked at the easing rate of Austin-area job growth and figured the inevitable had finally arrived: The region’s tight labor market was bringing expansion back to more reasonable levels. In true Austin fashion, though, local hiring re-accelerated in the months since. And after modest job...
More Stories