King-of-bling Theo Fennell in takeover negotiations

Theo Fennell, the king-of-bling jeweller beloved by Victoria Beckham and Elton John, is in talks to be taken over by a private-equity house.

The company confirmed the news yesterday following a recent leap in its shares. Theo said it is in "very preliminary talks" with the private-equity firm EME Capital, which is perhaps best-known as bankers to the night club group Soho House.

Under City takeover rules, EME has until close of play on 3 October to make a firm offer or walk away.

Theo shares jumped again yesterday, adding 3.25p to 15p. That values the business at £3.5m, though it has reported losses over the last few years.

Founded in 1982, the company sells jewellery, watches, silver objects, and gifts designed by its namesake founder. It has turned its attention to emerging markets such as China and introduced a low-cost range as demand wanes in the UK.

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