Authentic Brands Group Acquires Hunter Boots’ Intellectual Property – Sourcing Journal

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After months of speculation, Authentic Brands Group has agreed to acquire the intellectual property of British heritage footwear and outerwear brand Hunter.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but according to a May report by SkyNews, Authentic’s deal could be valued at 100 million pounds ($124.8 million).

Authentic has signed an agreement with Marc Fisher Footwear to be the core footwear partner for Hunter in the U.S., taking on the brand’s footwear design, wholesale and e-commerce operations in the territory.

At the same time, Authentic has tapped The Batra Group as the core licensee in the UK and continental Europe. Batra will be responsible for designing and developing Hunter footwear, apparel and accessories and operating Hunter’s branded retail stores, wholesale distribution and e-commerce in those territories.

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In keeping with its brand-building approach, Authentic will tap its global network of category experts and operating partners to accelerate the worldwide expansion of Hunter in the U.S. and Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as key markets across Asia the Pacific region. Additional brand partners are expected to be announced in the coming months.

Jamie Salter, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic, said in a statement that he is “excited” to finalize the acquisition of Hunter. “We are also pleased to expand our relationships with two long-standing Authentic partners, Batra Group and Marc Fisher, each of whom has a proven track record of unparalleled expertise in product development across a range of categories and an established network of prominent retailers,” Salter said. “We will look forward to working with them and our greater partner network to continue growing the Hunter brand.”

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For 167 years, Hunter has been producing footwear and is known for the iconic Wellington Boot it introduced in 1956. Each pair of Wellies is handcrafted on the same last from 28 individual parts. Hunter now makes weatherproof outerwear, bags and accessories to complement its footwear assortment.

Hunter holds two Royal Warrants of Appointment from the late Queen Elizabeth II and the late Duke of Edinburgh, meaning it supplies services to the royal court. It got 16.5 million pounds (or $21.2 million) in June 2020 from majority stakeholder Pall Mall Legacy, a fund backed by Goldman Sachs and Three Hills Capital Partners. The Wellies maker needed the money to survive the COVID-19 pandemic when live events where it showcased products were shut down. Private equity firm Searchlight Capital Partners and Pentland Group, which owns a number of sports, outdoor and lifestyle brands, are some of Hunter’s other backers.

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In March, rumors started to swirl that the New York-based owner of Reebok and Nautica were circling Hunter Boots after taking over fellow British lifestyle brand Ted Baker last year.

The deal follows other recent takeovers by Authentic. Late last month, the brand management company officially completed its acquisition of the fashion brand Vince. In March, Authentic scored the winning bid to buy Boardriders, the parent company of Quiksilver, Billabong, Roxy, DC Shoes, RVCA, Element, VonZipper and Honolua.

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