Permira plans Dr Martens sale or US listing as brand growth continues

today Apr 11, 2019
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Dr Martens owner Permira is planning to sell or float the venerable British footwear brand just six years after it acquired the company for £300 million from the founding Griggs family.

Dr Martens

That’s according to Sky news which said the private equity firm, whose other investments have included Hugo Boss, is getting ready to appoint bankers to oversee the sale or float process before the summer. And it’s interesting that it said any IPO could happen via a US stock exchange rather than in London.

The almost-60-year-old brand has recovered strongly since Permira took control and in the year to March 31 2018 saw both sales and profits growth hitting very high double-digits. It also raised its profile abroad and this paid off with stronger sales in its EMEA region.

Neither Permira nor Dr Martens have commented on the report so we have no idea why a US listing might be the preferred option, although Sky News reported “insiders” saying that no definitive plan was in place yet. That means the chances that the brand could be sold to a major strategic investor are also strong and there would clearly be good demand for a growing heritage brand that also has a powerful fashion profile. 

No monetary value has yet been put on the brand but there have been suggestions that it could be worth a lot more than double the £300 million Permira shelled out to buy it.

Dr Martens is headed by CEO Kenny Wilson who took on the role last year having previously been European president of Levi’s. The firm has around 100 stores and has been investing heavily in its Northamptonshire manufacturing site.

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