News broke yesterday that famous footwear brand Dr Martens was considering a listing on the London Stock Exchange in 2021.
This came as a surprise to some as many businesses, particularly those in fashion and accessories, have felt a pinch over the first two quarters of 2020. But not Dr Martens. The footwear firm actually saw an increase in sales and profits during 2020 up until the end of March. This, the company says is due to the “repositioning of its wholesale accounts” and increased growth in its B2C channels.
In fact, the brand’s revenue grew by an impressive 48% year on year and surpassed GBP 672 million. Breaking this down into direct and wholesale, the former grew by 51% and the latter by 35%. That is great news for any potential owners and investors. It’s also a good example of a company that managed to defeat the odds and remain successful, despite having to close most of its stores.
Who are Dr Martens?
The brand started in World War II by German doctor Klaus Martens. After breaking his ankle during a skiing trip, he found the government issued boots were very uncomfortable and provided little support. So, he set about designing a new boot with improvements such as soles made from tyres and soft leather uppers. After the war ended, he went into business with a friend, Herbert Funck and the brand became a big hit with housewives over 40. Just over a decade later. The brand was bought, updated, and adapted by an English company and trademarked the famous AirWair soles.
Today, Dr Martens are worn and loved throughout the world. From punk rockers to suburban mothers, school children to hippies, and everyone in between. The brand is now owned by private equity company Permira and since then, revenues have kept on growing. In 2018 alone, over 10 million pairs of Dr Martens shoes were produced.
What does this mean for investors?
Now with 2021 approaching, sources say that Permira has brought in Lazard’s advisors to discuss a float at the beginning of next year. Despite this, there are also rumours swirling that the firm could be set to resume talks with Carlyle who were interested in purchasing the brand before the COVID-19 pandemic.
They had expressed their interest in buying DMs for GBP 300 million and while there are no guarantees, backing from the US firm would do wonders for the brand. Such a purchase, when combined with its listing on the London stock exchange could see it become some of the best shares 2020 in regular lists drawn up by experts in stock markets and equity. This is likely to encourage new investors and traders as well as spark interest in other British brands that are performing well on the stock market.
If Dr Martens are floated on the London Stock Exchange, we can expect to see a flurry of interest from seasoned investors, nostalgic traders, and just those looking to get a piece of this instantly recognisable and well-loved brand.