Footwear maker Doc Martens plans to go public in London

The maker of Dr. Martens boots, the chunky-soled footwear once championed by rebellious young people but now favored by celebrities like Rihanna, plans to sell shares to the public as the existing owners seek to profit from growth of the iconic brand.

Dr. Martens Ltd. said Monday that current investors plan to sell at least 25% of their stake in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

Permira Funds, a London-based private equity investor, bought Dr. Martens for $400 million in 2014. Private equity firms seek to buy undervalued companies then restructure their operations and cut costs before selling at a profit.

Street Style At Paris Fashion Week - Womenswear Spring Summer 2021 : Day Five
A pair of black leather shoes from Dr. Martens, spotted at Paris Fashion Week 2020. Annual revenue of the iconic footwear brand rose 39% over the past two years to $900 million.  / Getty Images

Dr. Martens Chief Executive Kenny Wilson said the IPO underscored the brand’s “global growth potential” after the footwear maker’s revenue jumped by 39% over the past two years to $900 million per year. The company is expanding online sales to complement revenue from 130 shops in 60 countries.

“Our iconic brand appeals to a diverse range of consumers around the world who wear our footwear to express their individual style,” Wilson said in a statement to the stock exchange. “We have invested massively to ensure that we deliver the best digital and store experiences to connect with our wearers.”

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