November 8, 2016 / 10:45 PM / 3 years ago

Kendra Scott hires bankers to explore sale: sources

(Reuters) - Kendra Scott, LLC is working with an investment to bank to lead a sale of the accessories company that it hopes will value it at as much as $1 billion, sources familiar with the situation said on Tuesday.

A six-figure price tag would be a remarkable achievement for the company’s eponymous founder, who started the company in 2002 designing jewelry out of her spare bedroom.

Austin, Texas-based Kendra Scott, which is working with investment bank Jefferies LLC on the sale, expects to achieve earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation (EBITDA) next year of around $70 up from $60 million, the sources said.

The sources asked not to be named because the process is still confidential. Kendra Scott did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Jefferies declined comment.

Kendra Scott sells jewelry that includes necklaces, earrings, rings and charms, which are distinguished by their custom shapes and natural stones. Customers can also customize the large, colorful jewelry at its “Color Bars” in retail stores and online, where they can chose a stone, metal and shape to their liking.

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

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

The company has built up a strong social media platform, an increasingly important benchmark for consumer companies. It has roughly 454 thousand followers on Instagram.

Online jewelry company Blue Nile Inc said on Monday it had agreed to be taken private by an investor group that includes Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC for about $500 million in cash.

Reporting by Lauren Hirsch in New York

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