Kendra Scott’s New Investment

December 23
4:11 AM 2016

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.

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.

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.

Scott's jewelry, much of which is priced under $100, has been worn by celebrities such as Sofia Vergara and Mindy Kaling, and has been featured on the runway by designer Oscar de la Renta.

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

Kendra Scott, which opened its first retail doors in Austin in 2010, now has stores across the United States, including in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Maryland and Pennsylvania. It sells its jewelry and accessories at retail outlets that include Nordstrom Inc. (JWN.N) and Bloomingdale's (M.N).

The company has built up a strong social media platform, an increasingly important benchmark for consumer companies. 

Jefferies LLC served as financial adviser to Kendra Scott, and Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Kastner, Huggins, Reddien & Gravelle LLP served as legal counsel to the company. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP served as legal counsel to Berkshire Partners.

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