Continuing on its string of notable acquisitions, Authentic Brands Group has announced that it has acquired the intellectual property (IP) of Wellington boot specialist Hunter.
Speculation of Authentic’s potential takeover had been evident since the beginning of the year, when it was reported that Hunter was mulling a possible cash injection in light of declining sales.
The British heritage brand had been heavily impacted by the pandemic and the resulting cancellation of festivals, attendees of which were initially among one of the company’s strongest buyer groups.
According to previous reports, the brand was believed to be working with AlixPartners on securing the new funding, which was to be made through an accelerated sales process.
Reports had cited Authentic to be the frontrunner of the process, with the firm understood to be competing against Chinese commerce group BaoZun.
Authentic plans international expansion for Hunter
Now, the US brand management company has won the race, snapping up the footwear label’s IP for an undisclosed sum, while also announcing that the Batra Group was to become the core licensee for the brand in the UK and continental Europe.
Through the partnership, Batra will be responsible for designing and developing Hunter footwear, apparel and accessories, as well as operating the brand’s retail, wholesale distribution and e-commerce.
US-based partner of Authentic Marc Fisher has also been assigned the task of being Hunter’s core footwear partner in the US, taking on a similar role to Batra in the region.
Speaking on the acquisition, founder, chairman and CEO of Authentic, Jamie Salter, said: “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 Authentic 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.”
The acquisition builds up Authentic’s already large-scale portfolio, which includes the likes of Ted Baker, Juicy Couture and Reebok, adding to its strategy to diversify its portfolio with brands from outside its home turf of the US.
Authentic said it would leverage its global network to accelerate the worldwide expansion of Hunter across multiple continents, with additional brand partners expected to be announced in the coming months.
The firm has taken a similar approach to Reebok, which it acquired from Adidas in 2021 and has since expanded into new territories through agreements with local production, distribution and manufacturing partners.