Hotter walks off with Gresham investment

A footwear manufacturer is to take advantage of the UK’s aging population and grow its business after securing a multi-million pound investment.


A footwear manufacturer is to take advantage of the UK’s aging population and grow its business after securing a multi-million pound investment.

A footwear manufacturer is to take advantage of the UK’s aging population and grow its business after securing a multi-million pound investment.

Hotter Shoes, which makes comfortable footwear for the ‘grey’ market, has received £21 million from Gresham Private Equity.

Gresham has backed current managing director Stewart Houlgrave and chairman Peter Chappelow to grow the business over the next five years.

The firm provided an equity package that will enable Hotter to improve its direct marketing operations and expand its product range to target a wider audience.

Houlgrave said the business is well poised for further growth. “The support of Gresham Private Equity will enable us to invest in our marketing capabilities and expand our distribution channels. This will provide the resource and capability to increase our customer base as well as continue to meet our current customer’s needs.”

Gresham’s investment was led by Iain Wolstenholme, Andy Marsh and Andy Tupholme with Marsh and the firm’s Ken Lawrence joining Hotter’s board.

Marsh said Hotter has the type of business the firm likes to back. “It’s a niche brand focused on the affluent grey market where we can see exciting growth potential. The business also has real scalability through its direct marketing channels via mail order catalogues and the Internet.”

This is not Gresham’s first deal in the mail order sector following its investment in Flowtech, a catalogue supplier of pneumatic and hydraulic products.

Gresham approached specialist direct marketing agency Intermarketing to analyse and verify Hotter’s management’s forecasts.

Intermarketing’s senior planning team was headed by Ged Henry, who was supported by Glenn Patterson and Julie Stead-Connor. The team provided a due diligence verification of the management’s marketing projections.

“The project required a staged-approach to fact finding, model-building and forecasting based on a detailed audit of current communications and results complemented by current market experience,” Henry said. “At the end of the six week project, a forecast model and recommendations on shifts to the existing programmes both short and longer term were presented to help deliver the investors’ aspirations for the business.”

The agency was also asked to advise on the potential requirements for a marketing database.

Hotter was established in 1959 and predominantly sells its products through mail order catalogues. It also has four retail outlets across the UK.

Marc Barber

Raven Connelly

Marc was editor of GrowthBusiness from 2006 to 2010. He specialised in writing about entrepreneurs, private equity and venture capital, mid-market M&A, small caps and high-growth businesses.

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