Dr Martens gears up for London IPO

Saleha Riaz
·2 min read
Dr Martens generated revenue of £672m in the year to March 2020. Photo: PA
Dr Martens generated revenue of £672m in the year to March 2020. Photo: PA

Dr Martens, the iconic British boot brand maker, said it plans to float on the London Stock Exchange after more than 60 years in business. The move would be one of the first big IPOs of 2021.

The IPO would consist of a sale of shares held by buyout firm Permira and some other existing shareholders, the company said in a statement.

Permira, a private equity company, bought Dr Martens in 2014 for roughly $463m (£343m).

There would be no sale of new shares in the IPO, which would give the company a free float of at least 25%. It expects that it would be eligible for inclusion in the FTSE UK indices.

It is also expected that shares representing up to a further 15% of the offer will be made available pursuant to an over-allotment option.

“The announcement of our intention to float reflects the great achievements of the Dr Martens team and brand over the past seven years. Even more important is the significant global growth potential for Dr Martens in the future,” said chief executive Kenny Wilson.

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“We have invested massively to ensure that we deliver the best digital and store experiences to connect with our wearers, and through this we are driving our long-term, sustainable growth,” he added.

Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) are joint global co-ordinators for the offering, while Barclays (BCS), HSBC (HSBA.L), Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC) and RBC Europe have been roped in as joint bookrunners.

The company sells more than 11 million pairs of shoes every year in around 60 countries. It generated revenue of £672m in the year to March 2020.

Dr Martens appears to have weathered the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic well, despite it taking a toll on the retail sector overall. Its group revenue was £318m in the six months ended 30 September 2020, a rise of 18% year-on-year.

Chairman Paul Mason said the company has “made significant investment in the business over the last few years to strengthen the team, our operations and position ourselves for the next exciting stage of development, as a publicly listed company.”

“We’re also committed to strong corporate governance and making sure we always do things the right way,” he added.

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