You may not have heard of Pentland Group, which was founded in 1932 as the Liverpool Shoe Company, but you will almost certainly recognise many of the clothing and sports-equipment brands it owns, such as Berghaus, Speedo and Mitre. The group also sells well-known brands such as Lacoste and Ted Baker under licence. In 2006, following the insolvency of the manufacturer of Hunter wellington boots, Pentland supported a restructuring of the business and has re-established the brand as a player in traditional country footwear as well as turning Hunter boots into a quirky fashion statement. In addition to selling branded consumer goods, Pentland makes money from investment management. In 1981, it invested $77,500 in Reebok USA, helped turn the business round, and 10 years later sold the stake for $782m. Under chairman Stephen Rubin, sales in 2009 grew to £1,135m. This includes revenue from its 58% stake in listed sports retailer JD Sports, but excludes wholesale sales by licensees.
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