Hotter Shoes sold in £200m deal

A Lancashire footwear business which is currently the UK's largest shoe manufacturer has been bought by a private equity firm in a deal worth £200m.

Hotter Shoes. based in Skelmersdale, has been sold to Electra Private Equity by rival firm Gresham, which has owned it since 2007.

The 55-year-old company currently sells more than two million pairs of shoes a year and employs 1,000 people at its site in the Lancashire town.

Stewart Houlgrave, whose parents set up the firm, will continue to hold a share of the business, while Peter Taylor will continue as Hotter Shoes’ chief executive.

Alex Fortescue, Electra’s chief investment partner, said the firm had been keeping its eye on Hotter Shoes for a number of years.

“We have been tracking Hotter for several years and it epitomises what we look for in a buyout investment – a really strong UK headquartered business with not only a UK growth story but also proven international potential,” he said.

It is now believed Hotter plans to expand its operation to the tune of 12 stores a year under Electra’s ownership.