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Dr. Martens plans London listing

written by Bella Palmer

The announcement comes with Britain back in lockdown and after the pandemic pushed most of the world into a recession

Classic British boot brand Dr. Martens announced its intention to pursue a London stock market listing on Monday, kicking off what is expected to be a brisk start to the year for European initial public offerings (IPOs) after a pandemic-disrupted 2020.

Private equity owner Permira will sell part of its stake in the IPO, alongside other existing shareholders, Dr. Martens said in a statement, with a source close to the transaction saying the deal could value the firm at more than 2 billion pounds ($2.70 billion).

Permira bought Dr. Martens, known for its yellow stitching and a youth culture staple, in 2014 for 380 million euros ($463.26 million).

The boot maker was founded in 1947 and had revenues of 672 million pounds in the year ended March 31, 2020, a company statement said.

No new shares will be issued as part of the IPO, which would give the company a free float of at least 25%, it added.

The announcement comes with Britain back in lockdown to stem the rapid spread of a new variant of the coronavirus and after the pandemic pushed most of the world into a recession in 2020.

Markets have remained resilient, however, with investors confident that vaccination programmes and fiscal stimulus will get the global economy back in gear later this year.

Markets have continued their performance from last year, which means that this will be the first of a significant number of IPO announcements. The pipeline is very full, said a second source close to the Dr. Martens deal.

Companies that have profited from the current environment or have a high degree of resilience to it have a good deal available to them, he added.


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