Hunter strengthens balance sheet with successful £16.5m recapitalisation

Hunter Boot, the iconic global footwear and outdoor lifestyle brand, is pleased to announce the successful recapitalisation of the business, led by existing shareholder, Pall Mall Legacy, and supported by Searchlight Capital, Pentland and other minority shareholders. As part of the recapitalisation, existing lender Wells Fargo will augment and extend existing financing arrangements for a further three years. As a result, Hunter will have the benefit of an additional £18.5 million of capital, to support future growth.

Founded in 1856, Hunter is a progressive British heritage brand renowned for its iconic Original boot and holds two Royal Warrants of Appointment to HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The brand has a rich history of innovation and continues to forge all-weather designs that shield from the elements and toughest of landscapes year-round. Today, Hunter is a multi-channel, multi-geography business with a broad consumer reach. In recent years, Hunter’s e-commerce business has grown strongly, generating about 30 per cent of global sales, positioning Hunter well to drive future growth.

Hunter’s combination of fashion and practicality over the years has created a loyal customer base and significant authority within the £50bn premium footwear segment.

The recapitalisation will strengthen Hunter’s balance sheet, with the aim of withstanding the economic pressures of the current global Covid-19 crisis as well as to sustain it for the foreseeable future. Pall Mall Legacy, a Goldman Sachs-backed investment vehicle managed by Three Hills Capital Partners, will invest new capital to become the majority shareholder of the Company, with Searchlight Capital investing additional funds and retaining a significant minority position and board representation. Pentland Group will retain a minority shareholding and board seat. Pall Mall, which first invested in Hunter in 2018, intends to bring new strategic and operational support to Hunter’s management through its team of senior retail
industry professionals.

Commenting on behalf of the shareholders: “Very few British brands have gained such a notable presence in the UK, Europe, Japan and the US. Hunter boots are synonymous will quality and innovation, while also appealing to premium fashion-driven consumers. Since our original investment in 2018, we have been long-term believers in the potential for Hunter and continue to see great opportunities ahead.”

Gordon McCallum, chairman of Hunter, said: “While the retail sector across the globe faces huge challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, we are extremely fortunate to have the support of our stakeholders, enabling us to successfully strengthen our balance sheet. This will ensure that we are able to withstand the current market downturn and emerge even stronger, to grow the iconic and much-loved Hunter brand over the long term.”