The Client

The Company was a market-leading shoe retailer that had traded in the UK since 1990s. It had more than 150 branded stores and also sold products through its e-commerce website, generating revenues in excess of $100m. The Company sold well-known shoe brands, including Sketchers and Hush Puppies, and commissioned 600 new shoe designs annually for its in-house brands.

The Assignment

When the Company became financially distressed, Metis Partners was appointed by PwC to identify, market and sell the IP assets in order to maximize the financial recovery for creditors.

Registered trademarks had already been identified but it was uncertain as to what other IP assets were owned by the Company. This was a high-profile administration and PwC relied on us to ensure that all IP assets were identified and sold.

Our Approach

Using our Metisology®, we uncovered a number of additional IP assets including significant goodwill rights in the corporate brand and in two dozen product brands, numerous unregistered trademarks, a key domain name, copyright in the website content, e-commerce software, a customer database, and rights to hundreds of unregistered shoe designs, which materially influenced the offers received.

We launched an intensive marketing campaign, reached a database of targeted global buyers and promoted the opportunity in UK media. We generated significant buyer interest supported extensive due diligence enquiries.

The Outcome

We recognized an opportunity to maximize the return by separating the assets into two IP bundles. We negotiated with the highest-bidding parties and secured two separate sales for different IP assets, with the return being well in excess of initial expectations.

Our Metisology® approach avoided the loss of critical IP assets and enabled a relaunch of the corporate brand and business by the new owner.

IP Assets Sold – Brands, Domain & Website, Software, Database, Designs.