Authentic Brands Group buys Hunter's IP, names license partners
Authentic Brands Group has acquired rain boots specialist Hunter — or to put it more accurately, it has acquired the “intellectual property” of the brand.
That means we should see the kind of changes that have been pushed through at its earlier acquisition, Ted Baker, with a big change to Hunter's business model.
Authentic has already named The Batra Group and Marc Fisher Footwear as the brand’s “core partners in key regions”.
The American globally-focused brand development, marketing and entertainment platform announced the deal on Friday. No details of how much it paid have been released.
Hunter, with its 160-year+ heritage, is known for its boots worn by the affluent in town, in the country and especially at festivals.
But while it’s a high-profile and popular upscale brand, it has also faced challenges, particularly due to the pandemic with the complete cancellation of festival season in 2020 and the half-hearted season the year after that.
Authentic is clearly pleased with its new buy. It said that “with seasonal introductions of fresh new styles and colourways inspired by the brand’s strong DNA, Hunter has cemented its position as the ‘welly of choice’ among outdoor enthusiasts, celebrities and fashion trendsetters alike”.
And Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Authentic, added: “We are excited to finalise the acquisition of Hunter, an original footwear and outerwear pioneer. At the intersection of fashion and outdoor, Hunter introduces another elevated global brand to Authentic’s diverse Lifestyle portfolio.
“We are also pleased to expand our relationships with two long-standing 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. We will look forward to working with them and our greater partner network to continue growing the Hunter brand.”
So who are these partners? Batra is a “highly diversified global organisation based in the UK with expertise in product development, design, sourcing and distribution”.
It will be the core licensee in the UK and mainland Europe, 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”.
Marc Fisher, meanwhile, is a US-based full-service fashion footwear company. It will be the core footwear partner for Hunter in the US, “taking on the brand’s footwear design, wholesale and e-commerce operations in the territory”.
Authentic also said it will “tap its global network of category experts and best-in-class operating partners to accelerate the worldwide expansion of Hunter in the US and Canada, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa, as well as key markets across Asia the Pacific region”. It added that “additional brand partners are expected to be announced in the coming months”.
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