Historic firm saved

Hunter bootmaker secures £16.5m rescue deal

Hunter boots are now a fashion item

Hunter, the Scottish-founded bootmaker popular with festival-goers, has secured a £16.5m rescue deal after seeing its sales savaged by the COVID-19 crisis.

The double royal warrant holder’s existing backers have invested as part of a deal that will see former minority shareholder Pall Mall Legacy become the controlling shareholder, says Sky News.

London-based brand house Pentland, will remain a minority shareholder in the company which was founded in 1856 as the North British Rubber Company in Dumfries.

Pall Mall Legacy is a Goldman Sachs-backed fund and its stake in Hunter will continue to be managed by private equity firm Three Hills Capital Partners.

Searchlight Capital, which has controlled Hunter since 2012, will retain a large minority stake and board representation.

It was popularised as a fashion brand by the likes of Alexa Chung and the model Kate Moss.

Its fortunes have been it by the cancellation of major festivals, such as Glastonbury.

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In 2006, the Hunter Rubber Company was placed into administration due to cash flow problems and following a number of structural reforms the HQ moved to Edinburgh.

Hunter was traditionally dominated by sales of Wellington boots, but over the last five years has diversified into a broader array of lifestyle products. A fifth of its sales are now generated by non-footwear products.

It has struck recent collaborations with Stella McCartney, Peppa Pig and The Walt Disney Company to create new product ranges.

It has also reduced its physical retail outlets, and now has only six shops.

The company has also launched an e-commerce platform that generates over 30% of global sales, and which its investors believe is well positioned to drive future growth.

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