Dr. Martens, the renowned British boot brand recognized for its distinct yellow stitching and association with youth culture, is reportedly getting ready for a stock market listing in the UK. The company’s current owner, private equity firm DRPermira, which acquired the brand in 2014 for 380 million euros, has hired financial advisory firm Lazard to handle the necessary preparations for the listing, according to insider sources. It is expected that the listing will take place early next year in London.

While no formal decision has been made, DRPermira is also contemplating reopening negotiations with U.S. private equity firm Carlyle. Carlyle had expressed interest in acquiring Dr. Martens earlier this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to discussions. Sources indicate that Carlyle, which recently sold its luxury sneaker brand Golden Goose to Permira, remains interested in expanding its presence in the footwear industry and may consider purchasing Dr. Martens.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that these discussions are still in the preliminary stages, and there is no certainty that a deal will be reached. If an agreement is reached, it would not take place until next year, as confirmed by one of the sources.

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Dr. Martens has demonstrated resilience and sustained growth. Under Permira’s ownership, the company has expanded its global presence and reported strong revenue growth of 20% to 30% in recent years. In the financial year ending in March 2019, group revenue increased by 30% to 454.4 million pounds, with core earnings rising by 70% to 85 million pounds.

The enduring allure of Dr. Martens can be attributed to its status as a symbol of working-class pride and rebellion. The brand has managed to maintain its relevance and popularity over the years, unaffected by fashion cycles or passing trends. Permira has further bolstered the company’s position by investing in its e-commerce offerings, which now contribute 16% to the total revenue.

With a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1947, Dr. Martens has overcome challenges, including a downturn and near-bankruptcy in the early 2000s. However, under Permira’s ownership, the brand has emerged stronger and experienced significant growth.

The decision to prepare for a stock market listing signifies the confidence that DRPermira has in the future prospects of Dr. Martens. By going public, the brand will have the opportunity to expand its reach even further and capitalize on its strong brand equity. Investors will undoubtedly be closely monitoring the listing, eager to be part of the success story of this iconic British footwear brand.

Useful links:
1. Official Dr. Martens Website
2. Lazard Official Website