07/15/2015 13:59 EDT | Updated 07/15/2016 01:12 EDT

Tilley Endurables sold to U.K. company known for investing in distressed companies

TORONTO — Tilley Endurables, the Canadian manufacturer and retailer behind the iconic Tilley hat, has been sold to a subsidiary of U.K.-based private equity firm known for its investments in distressed companies.

Financial and other details of the sale to Re:Capital, the Canadian arm of Hilco Capital, were not disclosed.

Tilley Endurables, also known for its wide variety of travel wear and accessories, was founded by entrepreneur Alex Tilley in 1980.

Tilley, whose products are stocked in more than 2,500 stores worldwide, long insisted that virtually all Tilley-branded products be produced in Canada. An exception was socks, which are manufactured in the United States.

It was not immediately clear if the new owners would be moving any production out of Canada.

Tilley, 77, announced earlier this year that he was putting the company up for sale, saying he hoped the buyers would maintain manufacturing operations in Canada, but conceded he would have no control over that.

Paul McGowan, CEO of RE:Capital, praised Tilley in a statement Wednesday for having built "a great business and a very strong brand around phenomenal products over the last 30 years."

"We're delighted to pick up the mantle and draw on Re:Capital's expertise and resources to grow the business further and take Tilley to new markets around the world," McGowan said.

Re:Capital's past Canadian acquisitions have included HMV Canada in 2011 and flooring manufacturer and distributor, Kraus Group, in 2012.


The Canadian Press