TIDMELTA

RNS Number : 8867X

Electra Private Equity PLC

10 January 2022

Electra Private Equity PLC

Launch of Unbound Group PLC

and

Planned relisting of Electra Private Equity PLC, to be renamed

Unbound Group PLC, on AIM on 31 January 2022

and

Trading Update

10 January 2022

Further to its announcement on 30 December 2021, the Board of Electra Private Equity PLC ("Electra") is pleased to confirm its intention that the Company be renamed as Unbound Group PLC ("Unbound"), an online multi-brand retail platform supporting the lifestyles of the 55 plus age demographic, and be relisted on AIM with effect from 31 January 2022.

Electra shareholders approved the relisting on AIM at a General Meeting held on 30 December 2021. As a result, it is intended that the last day of dealings in Electra shares on the Main Market will be 28 January 2022 and the first day of dealings in Electra shares (to be re-named Unbound shares accordingly) on AIM will be 31 January 2022.

Unbound Group PLC

Unbound will build on the solid foundation of its current main business, Hotter Shoes ("Hotter"), to grow value through its curated multi-brand retail platform supporting the active lifestyles of the 55 plus age demographic with a range of products and services. Unbound's expanded offering beyond footwear is expected to feature apparel, wellness and lifestyle products and services, with third-party complementary brands featuring alongside new Unbound brands, as well as Hotter.

Whilst continuing to develop Hotter's footwear offering for all consumers in its targeted age demographic, Unbound intends to leverage the highly attractive customer database and scalable digital infrastructure of Hotter to support sales on the new Unbound platform of its own and third-party brands and products with related customer benefits to the same target demographic. This development of the curated platform will be through working with similarly focused partners to provide a range of products and services that support the wellbeing and active lifestyles of Hotter's customer community.

Unbound will be led by Ian Watson who is currently Chief Executive Officer of Hotter Shoes and will become Chief Executive Officer of Unbound Group PLC on the Company's admission to AIM.

Summary of Unbound Strategy

Unbound's strategy to provide optimal opportunity for value creation is summarised below:

-- Following a repositioning of the Hotter business from predominantly retail to predominantly online in 2021, Hotter now sells its footwear products to over 29% of the UK 55 plus female population through its direct-to-consumer channels. Building on the strong brand, customer trust and loyalty enjoyed by Hotter, and with current digital revenues exceeding over 75% of turnover, Unbound is building a curated portfolio of partner brands to offer a selected range of products and services that will enhance the enjoyment and wellbeing of customers in the 55 plus demographic.

-- Cultural and demographic shifts provide a significant opportunity for Unbound to address a customer audience that is materially under-served online with the characteristics of:

o rapidly increasing digital literacy - 55 plus demographic now generating over 30% of overall internet participation;

o long-term structural growth in older demographics, significantly in excess of growth in younger demographics;

o focus on health, wellbeing, leisure and recreation with a more acute need for comfort over performance; and

o high concentration of UK wealth in the demographic results in focus for product selection being on value rather than price.

-- The digital platform being built by Unbound allows the development of a low risk, mutually beneficial arrangement with select partners which will provide customers in the targeted 55 plus demographic not only with relevant and lifestyle enhancing products and services but ultimately also a community platform.

-- Initially targeted Unbound brand partners have been identified and commercial negotiations are in progress with multiple parties.

-- First Unbound revenues from sales of products other than Hotter footwear expected in Q2 2022, with medium-term ambition to generate more than half of Unbound's profit from non-Hotter products.

Hotter Shoes Recent Trading

Hotter has continued to deliver strong growth during November and December, with revenues being +9% compared with the previous year and gross margin continuing to perform positively at 65.5%. This robust performance despite supply chain cost and availability issues, coupled with the negative impact of Omicron suppressing high street demand in the latter weeks of December is encouraging.

Ian Watson, Hotter Chief Executive Officer, Unbound Chief Executive designate, commented:

"The creation of Unbound, and its admission to AIM, will be a significant milestone and we are excited about the opportunities ahead.

We continue to gather excellent momentum with our new Unbound partnership strategy, and we are in early discussions with a number of potential partners.

With our unique focus on our 55 plus customer base, underpinned by the strength of the Hotter brand and cultural and demographic tailwinds, we believe there is a significant growth opportunity for Unbound, and we look forward to creating long-term value for our existing and new shareholders."

Neil Johnson, Electra Chairman, commented:

"The transition to Unbound Group PLC brings the Electra story to a successful conclusion and marks the start of an exciting new future as Unbound. We have an opportunity to build a significant business, serving the customer demographic we know well and growing value for shareholders."

S

Enquiries

Electra Private Equity PLC

Gavin Manson, Chief Financial and Operating Officer

020 3874 8300

Unbound Group PLC and Hotter Shoes

Jenna Shillcock

01695 712720

Vico Partners

Sofia Newitt

020 3957 5045

Notes to Editors

Electra Private Equity PLC

Electra is a private equity investment trust which has been listed on the London Stock Exchange since 1976. Electra's investment objective is to follow a realisation strategy, which aims to crystallise value for shareholders, through balancing the timing of returning cash to shareholders with maximisation of value. Since 1 October 2016, Electra has distributed over GBP2.2 billion to shareholders through ordinary dividends, special dividends, a share buyback and the demerger of Hostmore plc.

Unbound Group PLC

Unbound Group PLC will be the parent company for a range of brands focused on the 55 plus demographic. I nitially focused on Hotter Shoes, Unbound's curated, multi-brand retail platform will offer additional products and services that will enhance the enjoyment and wellbeing of its targeted customer community. This online platform will be based on the foundations of Hotter as a trusted brand, cloud-based digital infrastructure, and strong customer personalisation through data insight. Unbound's expanded offering beyond footwear will feature apparel and wellness products and services, with third-party complementary brands featuring alongside new Unbound brands, as well as Hotter.

Hotter Shoes

Hotter Shoes has been transformed from a retail to a multi-channel business with a strong and growing digital focus over the last 2 years, and is now a fast-growing, profitable and cash-generative e-commerce focused footwear brand. Hotter provides footwear with uncompromising focus on comfort and fit through the use of differentiating technology, to a targeted demographic that values its brand and products. Hotter's direct-to-consumer channels now reach 29% of the female population in the UK over the age of 55, providing them with footwear that allows them to do more of what they love. Cultural and demographic shifts now provide an opportunity to further monetise the existing Hotter customer database and grow it through the addition of similarly themed products beyond footwear.

FURTHER INFORMATION

The distribution of this announcement in jurisdictions other than the United Kingdom may be restricted by law and persons into whose possession this document comes should inform themselves about and observe any relevant restrictions. In particular, this document may not be published or distributed, directly or indirectly, in or into the United States of America, Canada, Australia, Japan or South Africa.

This announcement does not constitute an offer or invitation to sell or issue, or a solicitation of an offer or invitation to purchase or subscribe for any securities in any jurisdiction nor shall it (or any part of it) or the fact of its distribution, form the basis of, or be relied on in connection with any contract therefor. This announcement may not be relied upon for the purpose of entering into any transaction and should not be construed as, nor be relied on in connection with, any offer, invitation or inducement to purchase or subscribe for, or otherwise acquire, hold or dispose of any securities of Electra and shall not be regarded as a recommendation in relation to any such transaction whatsoever.

Certain statements made in this announcement are forward-looking statements and by their nature, all such forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainty. Forward-looking statements include all matters that are not historical facts and often use words such as "expects", "may", "will", "could", "should", "intends", "plans", "predicts", "envisages" or "anticipates" or other words of similar meaning. These forward-looking statements are based on current beliefs and expectations based on information that is known to Electra at the date of this announcement. Actual results of the Electra Group (being Electra and its subsidiary undertakings from time to time), and/or their respective industries, may differ from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements as a result of any number of known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, including, but not limited to, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and uncertainties about its impact and duration, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond the control of Electra. Persons receiving this announcement should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Unless otherwise required by applicable law or regulation, Electra disclaims any obligation or undertaking to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

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January 10, 2022 02:00 ET (07:00 GMT)

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