SEEKING A DOCTOR: Permira, the private equity group and owner of brands including Hugo Boss and New Look, is in exclusive, advanced talks to acquire the Dr. Martens shoe brand for 300 million pounds, or $482 million, at current exchange.
An announcement could be made within the next few weeks. Permira and Dr. Martens both declined to comment.
The Permira talks come a little more than a year after discussions with other potential investors broke down. The shoe brand, a symbol of Seventies youth counter-culture, was founded by the Munich-based Dr. Klaus Maertens and his university friend Dr. Herbert Funck. From the beginning, it was manufactured by R Griggs in the U.K., and the Maertens name was Anglicized to Martens. The Griggs family still owns the company, although a royalty fee will have to be paid to the Maertens and Funck families in the event of a sale.