The owner of Reebok and Ted Baker has joined the race to buy Royal Warrant-holding Wellington boot brand Hunter, according to Sky News.
US private equity-backed Authentic Brands Group (ABG), which also has a stake in David Beckham’s consumer goods venture DB Ventures, is said to have joined the parties circling the footwear brand.
Sky News said ABG has expressed an interest in a takeover deal for Hunter, although it was unclear how serious it was about the bid.
Hunter, whose boots became a festival fashion statement in the mid-noughties when photographed on the likes of model Kate Moss, is to be auctioned after it secured a £5m cash injection from its shareholders and a further £2m from lenders.
The cancellation of music festivals during the pandemic had a severe impact on the footwear brand. It was last saved in 2020 through a £16.5m capital injection, in part by its majority shareholder Pall Mall Legacy.
Hunter has since seen a post-pandemic rebound, with sales in China accounting for a surge in growth.
The brand has largely abandoned its retail store portfolio, including the Regent Street flagship it opened in 2014. It now only operates one store in New York and an outlet at Bicester Village.
Hunter declined to comment on the story.
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