Hunter Shoots For Funding and Expansion

Hunter Shoots For Funding and Expansion
A classic Hunter rain boot.

Hunter Boot is targeting new markets and has snared a new shareholder to help fund its expansion.

Searchlight Capital Partners, a private investment firm operating in North America and Europe, has taken a controlling stake in the company, Hunter announced Friday.

Details of the deal were not revealed, but existing shareholders, comprising a private consortium of Lord Marland of Odstock, Peter Mullen and Julian Taylor, as well as the Pentland Group Plc, have all reduced their holdings to minority stakes.

“[The] support from Searchlight will help us to capitalize on the growing demand for Hunter-branded products as we look to increase our presence in existing markets and expand in new regions around the world,” Peter Mullen, chairman of Hunter, said in a statement.

A spokesman for Hunter added that the firm is focused on pursuing expansion opportunities in Europe, particularly the U.K. and Asia.

In its bid to become a well-rounded brand, Hunter also is expanding product categories with outerwear, accessories and leather footwear, she said.

The brand’s rep also noted that Hunter is “doing a lot of innovative things in rubber boots, such as practical rubber applications for equestrian boots [and experimenting with] colors, textures and prints.”

Oliver Haarmann, partner and co-founder of Searchlight, said Hunter is a high-quality investment with excellent growth potential, and the focus is for the firm to keep growing through product line extensions.

In 2010, Hunter reported an annual turnover of 56 million pounds, or $86.8 million, and net income of 16 million pounds, or $24.8 million.

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