Jones Bootmaker – one of the oldest brands on the British high street – has been sold to a Dutch retail firm in a deal which is believed to value the chain at £40 million.
Maastricht-based Macintosh Retail Group, which owns footwear retailer Brantano, said Jones and its 93 stores would fit perfectly with its growth strategy for the fashion sector.
It is understood Jones’s chairman Peter Phillips and chief executive Ken Bartle, along with a small group of private investors, own 70% of the business, and will share the bulk of the expected windfall from Macintosh.
Mr Phillips and Mr Bartle bought their stake for £4.5 million from an Icelandic private equity firm during the financial crisis and are expected to step down from their roles once the deal is closed, which should happen in April. The other members of the management team will remain.
Mr Phillips said: “The board of directors are delighted to have been acquired by a business with an established track record in the footwear sector.
“We are quite clear that both companies share a mutual vision of a combined group dedicated to the sale of quality footwear and the experience of superb customer service which has always been associated with this Heritage Brand.
“We consider that this acquisition will be hugely beneficial to our customers, staff and suppliers.”
Jones Bootmaker, which can trace its history back to 1857, will retain its brand name. It aims to open 15 further stores in the UK in the next three years and launch a new website to increase online sales.
Macintosh operates some 1,250 stores across the Netherlands, Belgium, France and UK.
Frank De Moor, chief executive at Macintosh, said: “This acquisition brings us more possibilities towards suppliers and will make Jones Bootmaker’s brand expertise available to our other shoe formats.”