Commercial Due Diligence

About the brand

The Hunter brand was born from the North British Rubber Company (Est 1856) and their classic green boot gradually became a country staple. In the early 2000s, the festival scene propelled the product into the limelight, and demand for the original boot rose significantly. The popularity of the product extended beyond festival goers and the fashion elite, with the combination of a function and fashion driving purchase across a broad audience. It is now the market leader in the category.

In 2011, Searchlight Capital Partners became majority shareholders in the company. The Hunter management team has driven sales across international territories and established Hunter as a global lifestyle brand.


About Hunter
Challenges for Hunter

The Challenge/Task

Pragma was commissioned by Searchlight Capital to undertake a rigorous commercial diligence programme to evaluate the key success factors of the brand in the UK and US. This also included an in-depth analysis of the sustainability of both the brand and the category.

What We Did

A customer research programme across the UK and US markets to provide insight on the current customer base and an assessment of further target consumers. The purpose of this work was to inform Hunter’s competitive positioning, acquisition strategy and product development

Ongoing support to the Hunter management team on key strategic questions

To inform opportunities for further international expansion, Pragma calculated the size of the Wellington boot market across key geographies and identified opportunities and challenges for the brand in each of these

To guide market entry in key territories, Pragma detailed the structure of distribution channels in each market

Turnover at Hunter Boot rose almost 10pc last year, as it enjoyed soaring popularity in key overseas markets such as the US.  Turnover jumped 9.8pc to £81.7m in the year to December 31 2013.

Hunter Results

The Result

Following Pragma’s report delivery, Searchlight Capital successfully acquired the controlling stake in the company in 2011. Pragma’s findings and recommendations provided the blueprint for further growth, and supported the development of a fashion and lifestyle proposition for the brand. We continue to work with the senior team to monitor brand traction and key performance indicators metrics across key markets.

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