Dr. Martens Shares Priced High, With Offer 8 Times Oversubscribed

LONDON – Dr. Martens is set to kick up a storm on the public markets, pre-listing on the London Stock Exchange Friday with an offer price of 3.70 pence per share, the top of the range set out earlier this week.

The British bootmaker was admitted to the premium listing segment, and is trading on the main market for listed securities of the London Stock Exchange under the ticker “DOCS LN.”

Trading is currently only open to the institutional investors that had been allocated shares in the offer. The shares will begin trading on the main LSE market on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

The IPO was executed via a placing to institutional investors, and Blackrock will be one of the group’s cornerstone backers. Dr. Martens’ private equity parent Permira confirmed that it plans to retain a 42.9 percent stake in the company.

Permira said the offer was oversubscribed eight times at 3.70 pounds, meaning that total market capitalization at the commencement of conditional dealings on the main market of the LSE will be approximately 3.7 billion pounds.

Tara Alhadeff, partner at Permira, said that over the past seven years “the brand has been transformed in scale and professionalism, making Dr. Martens one of the most successful single-brand businesses in the world.

“The strategy has always been to run this brand for the next six decades, which has meant making considerable investments in people and operations, as well as always putting consumers and the brand at the heart of the business,” she said.

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Alhadeff added that Permira will continue supporting the chief executive officer Kenny Wilson and the management team in the company’s “growth trajectory.”

Permira acquired Dr. Martens from the Griggs family in January 2014 for 300 million pounds, and over the last seven years turned it from a manufacturing-oriented wholesale business into a multichannel, digital-led business with a big focus on the end-consumer.

Since 2014, revenues at Dr. Martens more than tripled, growing from 209 million pounds to 672 million pounds in the year ended March 31, 2020.

Permira said that investment in the company’s e-commerce platform has driven strong online growth, rising from 7 percent of revenues in 2014 to 20 percent in 2020.

The private equity giant said the strong online momentum has continued through the COVID-19 pandemic, with revenues and EBITDA growing 18 percent, and 30 percent, year-on-year respectively in the six months ended Sept. 30, 2020.

It added that Dr. Martens’ employees have tripled from 758 in March 2014 to 2,288 in March 2020.

Dr. Martens launched its first boot, the 1460 eight-holed lace-up, in 1960, and the company said it now sells more than 11 million pairs of shoes annually in more than 60 countries.

Permira’s big pitch to investors over the past weeks and months has been that Dr. Martens still has a relatively low current penetration in many markets, including some of its core markets, meaning there is “significant headroom” to grow within the 341 billion pound global footwear market.

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