Hotter Shoes mulls £150m sale by hiring Rothschild

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The Independent Online

The son of the founding family of the footwear retailer Hotter Shoes and its investors are exploring strategic options for the business, including a potential sale for up to £150m.

Hotter Shoes, which is backed by the private equity firm Gresham, wants fresh funds to help launch stores overseas and ramp up its international sales online.

Stewart Houlgrave, the chief executive of Hotter, whose parents founded it in 1959, and Gresham have appointed advisers at Rothschild to examine options, including selling a minority stake or the company.

The brand, which manufactures 1.6 million shoes a year at its Lancashire factory, sells its "comfort shoes" to over-50s through its mail order business, website and 50 UK stores.

A Hotter spokesman said: "Rothschild is working with Hotter Shoes on our strategy, brand development and internationalisation."

The retailer is targeting underlying profits of up to £15m this financial year – which, based on a multiple of ten times earnings, would value the business at about £150m.

Peter Taylor, the former managing director of the trendy wellington brand Hunter Boot, joined Hotter in the same role in 2011. Gresham first took a minority stake in the company in 2007, with a £21m investment.

The retailer's investors pocketed a dividend of £5.5m in 2011. Rothschild and Gresham declined to comment.