Alteri takes step forward with Jones Bootmaker acquisition

Kasmira Jefford
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Jones is one of the oldest brands on the high street (Source: Jones Bootmaker)

A Mayfair-based investment firm set up last year to invest in challenged retailers has bought UK footwear chains Jones Bootmaker and Brantano.

Alteri Partners, which is backed by US-based private equity giant Apollo Global Management, said it has agreed to buy the two companies for an undisclosed sum from Dutch retail conglomerate Macintosh.

The deal comes after Macintosh put the two businesses up for sale earlier this year, four years after buying Jones Bootmaker and combining it with Brantano, which it acquired in 2008.

Brantano, which was originally founded in Flanders in the 50s, is the UK’s largest out-of-town value footwear chain with 140 stores and 61 concessions across the country.

Jones Bootmaker, which first opened in 1857, is one of the oldest brands on the high street and currently has 123 stores and concessions on high streets and shopping centres.

Brantano’s most recent accounts show the retailer posed a pre-tax loss of £5.8m in 2013 after the cost of merging Jones’ into Brantano’s warehouse and head office dragged it further into the red. The restructuring costs also dragged Jones to a £2m loss that year.

Alteri’s chief executive Gavin George said the acquisition marked its first equity deal in the UK. The group provided a three-year loan to shirt-maker Austin Reed earlier this year and has also made investments in Germany.

“Since launching at the end of 2014, we’re delighted with the progress we’ve made in building our investment and lending portfolio, and we look forward to partnering with other retailers across the European retail sector,” George said.

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