Hunter wellies snapped up by Searchlight


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The Independent Online

Hunter, the maker of upmarket wellies beloved by the likes of Kate Moss, has been bought by a private-equity firm in a deal which sees its current shareholders cash out part of their investments.

Searchlight Capital Partners has taken a controlling stake in Hunter after its existing four shareholders, including the fashion group Pentland, sold down their shares.

Hunter delivered sales of £56m in 2010 but is on track to post about £80m this year.

Women of Middle England have increasingly embraced Hunter as fashionable footwear in recent years and the brand has been endorsed by the Prime Minister, and celebrities.

The Camerons handed the US president Barack Obama and his wife a pair of Hunter wellies on a trip to America last year.

Peter Mullen, the chairman of Hunter Boots and an investor, said: "This transaction and future support from Searchlight will help us to capitalise 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."