The world’s most enduring footwear company Dr Martens make their stock market debut at a value of £3.7bn.
Dr Martens boots have been the face of rebellion, since World War II. Now the British bootmaker Dr Martens Plc is set to soar in London trading coming in valued at approximately $5 billion when its shares go public.
Owner Permira Holdings and other shareholders recently raised 1.3 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) with their initial public offering, cashing in on the popularity of the footwear’s cult status.
The company’s private equity owner, Permira, and other existing shareholders have sold 350m shares at 370p each. As a result, they will be splitting a £1.29bn windfall. The Griggs family sold the company to Permira for £300m in 2013, but brilliant foresight retained a near 10% shareholding, netting them £129m of the windfall. Permira owns about 75% of Dr Martens, making its share about £970m.
Shares will go on public sale tody in a flotation that values the shoe brand at around 3.7 billion pounds ($5 billion). Around 35 percent of the business will be available for investors to buy and sell.
The footwear grew out of the ruins of postwar Germany when Dr Klaus Maertens, a 25-year-old soldier, was convalescing from a broken foot. Looking for an alternative to the traditional hard leather sole, he came up with an air-cushioned alternative that he showed to an old university friend and mechanical engineer, Dr Herbert Funk.
By adapting disused military supplies, the pair began producing their novel shoes two years later and within a decade they had a booming business.
In 1960 British firm Griggs took over the band as was marketed throughout the country. The boots were priced at two pounds apiece, with its eight-hole workmen’s model becoming a fundamental addition to the wardrobe of the rebellious youth for decades to come .
“The successful transformation of Dr. Martens is a great story, and what is even more exciting is the huge potential ahead,” Chief Executive Kenny Wilson said.
Dr. Martens boots are sold in more than 60 countries, and customers buy around 11 million pairs every year. It is possibly the only clothing that is revered by both Boomers and Millennials. The brand has taken on new life in recent years and the company doesn’t see the demand wavering any time soon.
As of today fans can do more than just don the famous boot.