A Dr. Martens IPO is rumored to hit the London Stock Exchange early next year.
The British heritage bootmaker has reportedly retained Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead its initial public offering. The news was first reported by United Kingdom-based media outlet Sky News, which did not specify the number of shares to be listed or how much is expected to be raised.
The float, according to the publication, was led by the brand’s parent, Permira. The private equity firm acquired Dr. Martens from the Griggs family back in 2013 for 300 million pounds, or $399.1 million at current exchange.
FN has reached out to Dr. Martens for confirmation and comment.
Business has proven to be positive for the Northamptonshire, England-based label over the last fiscal year: For the 12 months ended March 31, revenues shot up 48% to 672.2 million pounds, or $894.2 million at current exchange. Underlying EBITDA rose by 93% to 164.4 million pounds, or $218.7 million, while its operating profit more than doubled. It added that sold 11.1 million pairs of shoes during that timeframe.
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Even though the financial results reflect the brand’s performance in pre-COVID-19 times, CEO Kenny Wilson expressed confidence that Dr. Martens’ strategy has helped it power through the pandemic. Speaking with FN in August, he said, “If you take our web and stores combined, we’ve managed to maintain a growing business. Speed and agility have been so important — and also putting people first. When we met with our suppliers, we didn’t cancel a single pair of boots or shoes, we paid all our landlords on time, and we tried to take a long-term view.”
What’s more, while a number of boldface fashion players have scaled back on store openings, Dr. Martens has forged ahead with the opening of 16 brick-and-mortar units, including five in the United States. On the product front, the brand’s iconic 1460 boot, which was awarded FN’s Shoe of the Year in 2019, continues to propel sales. The recognizable silhouette was first introduced 60 years ago and has retained its “cool” factor with a dozen buzzed-about collaborations this year.