Dr. Martens goes under the hammer in £300m PE deal

Posted on 25 Oct 2013 by Tim Brown

Shoe brand Dr. Martens has been sold by the Griggs family to investment firm Permira Funds for £300m, ending 50 years of family ownership.

The deal will add to Permira existing fashion business portfolio which includes brands such as Hugo Boss and New Look.

Dr. Martens employs 700 people worldwide, including 350 people in Britain and its shoes are sold in 63 countries.

The first Dr. Martens boots in the United Kingdom came out on 1 April 1960 (known as style 1460 and still in production today), with an eight-eyelet Ox Blood Smooth leather design. Dr. Martens are still made in the company’s Cobbs Lane factory in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire.

David Suddens, CEO of Dr Martens, said Permira had been chosen to continue the brand’s legacy as the firm respected “the company’s heritage”, and want to “support the management team in nurturing it”.

Cheryl Potter, Partner and Head of the Consumer Sector Team at Permira: “Dr Martens is an iconic brand with a passionate fan base of followers,” said Mr Suddens. “The Permira Funds have extensive expertise in backing global brands, as demonstrated with Hugo Boss and Valentino, and we are looking forward to supporting the management team in this exciting next phase of the company’s development.”

Barclays acted as financial advisor to Permira while Rothschild advised R Griggs. Barclays is also the facility agent on the debt financing.