While full details of the transaction have not been disclosed, Pentland said it made a “multimillion dollar” investment in order to acquire the 46-year-old label that was resurrected by current CEO Steven Tiller in 2010.
“We look for high-potential, high-growth brands that are aligned with either our footwear and active categories, so on that basis we’re really excited about working with SeaVees, which has a great brand story and has had a phenomenal performance recently,” Chirag Patel, global strategy director at Pentland Brands, told Footwear News in an exclusive interview.
Patel said Pentland was also attracted to SeaVees’ history as a pioneer of transforming sneakers from gym shoes to casual wear.
“The SeaVees brand has great authenticity. Steven and his team have done a great job of bringing propositions to market and [creating] a very true and authentic brand,” Patel said, adding that the firm is revved up to take the U.S.-based brand into global markets.
“We’ve got a great opportunity to plug it into our international network — we sell products to 195 markets across the world,” he said.
For his part, Tiller said he was impressed with Pentland’s track record for successfully managing its portfolio of brands, which includes Speedo, Boxfresh and Kangaroos. The firm is also the global licensee for Lacoste Chaussures and Ted Baker footwear.
“I’ve been in the business for a long time, and in my book, integrity really defines Pentland in how they relate to people and also in how they nurture brands,” Tiller said. “I’m very proud of the progress the SeaVees team has made since we resurrected the brand in 2010. And for me, this is the right time to capitalize on the momentum that the brand has.”
Both Tiller and Patel said there are no major management changes planned and they plan to keep the company headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif.
“I’m most excited about sharing the brand with a larger customer base and having the brand be recognized globally as a category creator,” Tiller noted.