Authentic 'in pole position' to buy Hunter
The US company, which subsequently bought Ted Baker for £210 million last autumn and also has a stake in David Beckham's branded products portfolio, has moved into lead position in the race to buy Hunter Boot, the royal warrant-holding footwear brand, reported Sky News.
The sale process, which has been running for more than two months, is nearing a conclusion. One source suggested a deal could value the business at as much as £100 million — well above previous expectations.
China's BaoZun, a digital commerce group that owns Gap's operations in Greater China, Marquee Brands and WHP Global also remains interested in a deal if the talks with ABG falter, the source added.
In March, Hunter Boot secured a multi-million-pound funding lifeline, with existing shareholders injecting £5 million into the business and lenders contributing a further £2 million.
Hunter has been working with advisers at AlixPartners on the auction.
The company was last saved in 2020 through a £16.5 million capital injection, part of which came from Pall Mall Legacy, a fund backed by Goldman Sachs.
Pall Mall Legacy owns the majority of Hunter's shares, with Searchlight Capital Partners, a private equity firm, and Pentland Group, the apparel giant behind, holding the remainder.
The company was historically dominated by sales of Wellington boots and became a favourite footwear-of-choice for music festivals. However, the pandemic severely hit demand and sales despite diversifying into a broader array of lifestyle products.
A spokesman for Hunter declined to comment, while Authentic couldn’t be reached for comment.
Copyright © 2023 FashionNetwork.com All rights reserved.