Hilco Capital acquires Canadian hat maker Tilley Endurables

British private equity firm Hilco Capital has bought Tilley Endurables, a travel clothing designer and manufacturer with headquarters in Toronto. The value of the acquisition was not published. Founded by Alex Tilley in 1980, the company’s products, which include the iconic Tilley Hat, are stocked in more than 2,500 stores in multiple countries. Hilco CEO Paul McGowan said the firm will partner with Tilley to continue growing the business and taking “the Tilley Hat to new markets around the world.” Hilco’s other Canadian investments include HMV Canada and Kraus Group.

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Hilco Capital acquires Tilley Endurables

Jun 28, 2015

Hilco Capital has acquired Canadian travel hat designer and manufacturer, Tilley Endurables, for an undisclosed sum.

The company, which was founded by entrepreneur Alex Tilley in 1980, is famous around the world for the iconic Tilley Hat, an extremely high quality, hardwearing cotton hat. The Tilley Hat was borne out of Alex Tilley’s frustration at the poor design and quality of sailing hats on the market, leading him to embark on a quest to create the world’s best hat. From its initial success with the sailing fraternity, Tilley Hats quickly became the headgear of choice for hikers, hunters, fishermen and even the Canadian military.

Tilley Hats enjoy a fiercely loyal following among adventurers and travellers the world over thanks to their quality, practicality and durability, with customers frequently relating their Tilley tales to the company. Tilley Hats have emerged unscathed from the jaws of a lion and the digestive system of an elephant (three times over).

With the runaway success of the original Tilley Hat, the company expanded the range to include variations on the classic design for different environments, together with similarly well-designed and made travel clothing and accessories.

The company employs over 200 people across its manufacturing, wholesale and retail operations in Canada and wholesale operations in the UK and USA. Tilley Hats are made by hand in Canada in a process involving 41 steps, 23 pairs of hands and 15 pieces of fabric.

Tilley’s products are stocked in more than 2,500 stores worldwide with UK stockists including Cotswold Outdoor and GO Outdoors.

Paul McGowan, CEO of Hilco Capital, said: “Alex Tilley has built a great business and a very strong brand around a phenomenal product over the last 30 years. We’re delighted to pick up the mantle and draw on Hilco Capital’s expertise and resources to grow the business further and take the Tilley Hat to new markets around the world.”

Source: Hilco Capital

Photo courtesy of Hilco Capital