Celebrity boot company Hunter opens new funding talks

Nearly three years after being saved from bankruptcy, Hunter Boot, the footwear company with a royal warrant, is moving toward receiving new capital.

According to media reports, the proprietors of Hunter, whose boots are commonly seen on the feet of celebrities attending festivals, have started collaborating with advisors on strategies to raise further funding.

According to city sources, the corporation is engaging AlixPartners to manage an expedited selling process with the aim of closing a deal in the upcoming weeks.

Wednesday’s potential repercussions if a transaction cannot be completed were not obvious.

Sales at Hunter, which was established in 1856 as the North British Rubber Company, are believed to have recovered following COVID, with revenue from China contributing significantly to the most recent recovery.

A £16.5 million financial infusion, part of which came from Pall Mall Legacy, a firm sponsored by Goldman Sachs and Three Hills Capital Partners, an existing stakeholder, salvaged the company in 2020.

The majority of Hunter’s shares are owned by Pall Mall Legacy, with the remaining shares held by Pentland Group, the sportswear juggernaut behind names like Speedo, and Searchlight Capital Partners, a private equity firm.

The amount of additional funding being requested as part of the AlixPartners process was not immediately clear.

Hunter is one of the most well-known shoe labels in the UK, which is one of just ten businesses to hold two royal warrants, one of which was granted by Queen Elizabeth II.

It had record revenues in 2018, but before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, its US business saw severe sales decreases in the final quarter of 2018.

Hunter, which has long been linked to celebrities like model Kate Moss, has suffered greatly as a result of the cancellation of live entertainment events and music festivals such as Glastonbury.

Wellington boot sales have historically been Hunter’s primary source of revenue, but the company has steadily expanded into a wider range of lifestyle goods.

With the exception of a location at Bicester Village and Woodbury in New York, it has abandoned its retail store portfolio, including its old flagship store on London’s Regent Street.

According to a person familiar with the company, sales in China are doubling annually, and the rest of Asia is also expanding rapidly.

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