Professionalisation of an iconic brand drives growth
Dr. Martens (“Dr. Martens” or “the Company”), the iconic British brand, completed the pricing of its proposed listing on the London Stock Exchange today with its shares commencing conditional trading under the symbol “DOCS LN”. The IPO, which was executed via a placing to institutional investors, follows a successful transformation and growth strategy in recent years under Permira funds’ ownership. At the IPO price of 370p per share, the implied market capitalisation is £3.7 billion (€4.2 billion).
The Permira funds acquired Dr Martens from the Griggs family in January 2014 for £300m. Over the last seven years, Dr. Martens has transformed from a manufacturing-oriented wholesale business to a multi-channel, consumer-first, digital-led business – all while remaining loyal to its original values of empowering rebellious self-expression.
The clear strategic roadmap, led by Kenny Wilson, CEO, together with a strong senior management team has delivered significant value. Over the course of the Permira funds’ investment, revenues at Dr. Martens more than tripled, growing from £209 million in 2014 to £672 million in 2020. Investment in the Company’s e-commerce platform has driven strong online growth from 7% of revenues at entry to 20% in 2020. This strong momentum has continued through the Covid-19 pandemic, with revenues and EBITDA growing 18% and 30% year-on-year respectively in the six months ended Sept. 30, 2020.
In addition to the significant business growth and value creation, the number of Dr. Martens’ employees have tripled from 758 in March of 2014 to 2,288 in March 2020.
The successful partnership will continue, with the Permira funds retaining a majority stake of 42.9% post listing, assuming the overallotment option is exercised in full.
The IPO of Dr Martens follows the Permira funds’ successful IPOs of Teamviewer and Allegro. In October, Allegro.eu, a global top ten e-commerce platform, became the largest IPO on the Warsaw Stock Exchange to date and its shares have performed strongly since listing. Teamviewer listed in Frankfurt in September 2019 and has seen similar strength in its share price performance.
Commenting on the IPO, Tara Alhadeff, Partner of Permira said:
“Dr Martens has always been an undisputed global icon, a brand like no other, inspiring deep engagement and passion in consumers from all walks of life for over six decades. During 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. We are incredibly proud to have partnered with Kenny Wilson and the broader leadership team past and present on this journey. 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. We are excited to continue supporting Kenny and the management team in Dr Martens’ growth trajectory.”
Kenny Wilson, CEO of Dr. Martens added:
“The successful transformation of Dr. Martens was only possible because of the great partnership we had with Permira who supported and guided the strategy over the past seven years. I’m very grateful to them for their continued support as we grow the Brand further around the world.”