Hotter shoes are sold through 257 stores, its website and mail-order catalogues

Hotter shoes are sold through 257 stores, its website and mail-order catalogues

Comfort foortwear firm Hotter, which claims to be the UK's largest shoe manufacturer, has been acquired by private equity firm Electra Private Equity in a deal rumoured to be worth GBP200m (US$328.5m).

Lancashire-based Hotter designs, manufactures and sells comfort footwear from its 57 standalone stores, 200 independent stores, website and mail-order catalogues.

The company says its factory produces a pair of hand-finished shoes every 20 seconds, which feature soft and breathable leathers, lightweight and flexible soles and underfoot cushioning.

Hotter founder Stewart Houlgrave will retain a significant stake in the company and have a continuing involvement in the business. The group's management will continue to be led by CEO Peter Taylor.

Commenting on the buyout, Houlgrave said: "Hotter is well placed for further growth. Electra Partners' support will be key in enabling the business to expand into new markets and grow its customer base, while at the same time continuing to meet the needs of its existing customers."

While Alex Fortescue, chief investment partner of Electra Partners, added: "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."