840 jobs saved as Jones Bootmaker snapped up for £11m

Mon, 27 Mar 2017 | BUSINESS SALE

Historic British shoe retailer Jones Bootmaker has been acquired for £11 million by private equity house Endless in a deal that saves 840 jobs and keeps 72 stores and its head office open.

Jones was sold by Alteri Investors in a pre-pack administration deal, where a buyer for a struggling company is lined up shortly before it enters administration, allowing for a quick sale.

But around 262 jobs will be lost and 25 “underperforming” stores and six concessions will close.

Jones, originally established in 1857, sells shoes for men and women under its own brand name and stocks a range of other well-known brands.

"We are delighted that we have been able to rescue such an iconic UK footwear brand as Jones Bootmaker, including a high proportion of stores and preserving a large number of jobs, especially given the current economic pressures faced by retailers across the UK," said Will Wright, partner at KPMG, which managed the sale.

"This deal recognises the value of Jones as a strong and popular high street brand with a loyal customer base."

Endless has some experience in the footwear industry having formerly owned Peter Black International, a large footwear distributor.

The firm’s Andrew Smith, who led the acquisition, said: "Jones is a well-known and loved brand on the UK high street.

“We recognise that there is a lot of work to be done to transform the company to secure long-term stability for the business and its employees but we are delighted to be working with the team and can see the opportunities for an exciting future.”

Jones has avoided the fate of shoe chain Brantano, which formally went into administration last week. That firm was also owned by Alteri Investors.

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