Shoe maker heading for auction following successful CVA

Skelmersdale-based Hotter Shoes will be put up for sale next year.

The biggest shoemaker in the UK successfully concluded a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement) in July, saving 350 jobs and slashing its rental bills.

But it led to the closure of 65 stores, leaving the business with just 15 remaining outlets.

Now, owner Electra Private Equity has appointed US investment bank and financial services company Stifel, to organise an auction of the business, according to Sky News.

Reports say the process will commence once the company is able to resume more normal trading. Some of the retailer’s outlets are open in Wales and Scotland, but its English stores remain closed due to the latest national coronavirus lockdown.

Following the CVA process earlier this year Electra has invested a further £2m into the company, which was founded in 1959 as a slipper manufacturer.

The CVA was approved by 99.5% in value of creditors who voted in July.

At the time, Hotter Shoes chief executive, Ian Watson, said: “I would like to thank my colleagues for their support and understanding through this process.

“Following the impact of COVID-19 the CVA was a regrettable but necessary step to avoid the likelihood of Hotter going into administration causing a much larger number of job losses, and was critical to ensure a viable future for the business.

“Now, we can focus on accelerating the implementation of our strategy to develop the respected and valuable Hotter brand with a greater emphasis on its online offering, which should establish a successful long-term future for the business.”

Electra declined to comment.