Dr Martens laces up ahead of potential London IPO

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Dr Martens is getting booted and suited in preparation for a potential GBP1bn London initial public offer next year, according to reports.

The iconic Anglo-German bootmaker’s UK-based private equity owner, Permira, has appointed investment banking giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley to lead the fundraising effort, Sky News has reported.

It is unclear what valuation the shoemaker and retailer would achieve, with a valuation of GBP1bn mooted a year ago when talks were being held about a potential sale to US private equity firm Carlyle Group.

As well as a possible sale, Permira had also been mulling a US float, previous reports indicated.

In its most recent financial year, Dr Marten enjoyed double-digit growth across all key regions to grow total revenue 48% to GBP672.2mln, with underlying profit (EBITDA) growth of 93% to GBP164.4mln.

Profit growth in the 12 months to March 2020 was boosted by the retailer making “significant progress against its strategic priorities”, particularly in growing its direct to consumer (DTC) channel revenues 51% to GBP301.6mln, Permira said in August.

Dr Martens opened 16 stores in the year, lifting its total to 122 stores around the world, with operations in German and the Nordics moving from third-party distributors to owned subsidiaries.

At the start of the UK lockdown period, the chain took the decision to use the government’s job retention scheme for store and manufacturing teams, but stopped accessing the scheme by the end of June once all UK stores had re-opened.

Kenny Wilson, chief executive of Dr Martens, said: “Looking ahead, while we are currently in a volatile and uncertain trading environment, we have a very clear strategy in place supported by a strong brand and consumer connections, and I am confident in the outlook for the business.”

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