Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the US private equity-backed company known for its ownership of brands such as Reebok and Ted Baker, has recently completed the acquisition of British heritage footwear brand Hunter. The deal, valued at $125 million, marks another significant step in ABG’s strategy to diversify its portfolio with brands originating from outside the United States.
Hunter, a 160-year-old brand, has evolved from being a rubber boot manufacturer to a lifestyle brand offering a wide range of footwear, outerwear, bags, and accessories designed for outdoor performance in both rural and urban environments. The acquisition of Hunter follows ABG’s purchase of UK-based Ted Baker for $254 million in October last year. Additionally, ABG partnered with British soccer star David Beckham to own and manage his business, DB Ventures, further expanding its international presence.
The acquisition of Hunter is part of ABG‘s “brand-building approach,” which aims to drive the firm’s strategy of diversifying its portfolio with non-US brands. Following the deal, ABG plans to leverage its network of category experts and operating partners to accelerate the worldwide expansion of Hunter. The company also revealed plans to add additional brand partners to its portfolio, with announcements expected in the coming months.
To support the growth of Hunter, ABG has appointed product development and design organization Batra Group and Marc Fisher Footwear as the brand’s core partners in key regions. Batra Group will become the core licensee in both the UK and across continental Europe, taking responsibility for the design and development of Hunter products, as well as operating Hunter’s branded retail stores, wholesale distribution, and e-commerce in those territories. Meanwhile, Marc Fisher Footwear will become Hunter’s core footwear partner in the US.
Jamie Salter, Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Authentic Brands Group, expressed his excitement about the acquisition, stating, “We are excited to finalize 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.”
Salter also highlighted the importance of expanding relationships with long-standing Authentic partners, Batra Group and Marc Fisher, both of whom have proven track records in product development across various categories and established networks of prominent retailers. He added, “We will look forward to working with them and our greater partner network to continue growing the Hunter brand.”
With the addition of Hunter to its portfolio, Authentic Brands Group now owns more than 40 brands across various categories, including Reebok, Nautica, Ted Baker, Sports Illustrated, and Marilyn Monroe. The company’s brands generate sales of $25 billion globally and operate over 10,800 stores in more than 150 countries.
The acquisition of Hunter further solidifies ABG’s position as a leading brand management company and demonstrates its commitment to diversifying its portfolio with international brands. As the company continues to expand its reach and acquire new brands, it will be interesting to see how ABG’s innovative business models, powerful storytelling, and immersive experiences shape the future of these iconic brands.