Permira may walk away from Dr Martens: Bloomberg

Permira is revisiting plans to sell Dr Martens, Bloomberg reported, after earlier discussions with potential suitors failed to result in an agreement and dealmaking hit the skids due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Sources close to the situation, who asked not to be named as the matter is confidential, told the news provider that discussions are still at an early stage.

They cautioned no final decision has been made on an exit from the six-year old investment and Permira is unlikely to rush the process as the portfolio company has been performing well.

Rumours of a potential sale emerged in the middle of last year, with Sky News suggesting a disposal or initial public offering may value the brand at GBP 300.00 million.

Bloomberg noted Goldman Sachs and Robert W Baird had been hired to work on the strategic review, which could pave the way for an exit in 2020.

At the time, the two indicated Carlyle, among others had been weighing up a potential offer, though the news provider’s latest report indicates discussions with suitors failed to result in an agreement.

Permira acquired Dr Martens, an iconic British brand founded in 1960 in Northamptonshire, in 2014 for EUR 380.00 million.

The company originally produced boots for workers looking for tough, durable footwear, but the label was quickly adopted by diverse youth subcultures and associated with musical movements.

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In the 12 months ended 31st March 2019, Dr Martens’ revenue rose 30.0 per cent year-on-year to GBP 126.70 million (FY 2018: GBP 140.70 million).

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation was up 70.0 per cent over the same timeframe, at GBP 72.70 million (FY 2018: GBP 43.60 million).

The group also recorded strong double-digit growth across all key regions and channels, in particular in e-commerce.

Zephyr, the M&A database published by Bureau van Dijk, shows 51 deals targeting footwear manufacturers have been announced globally in 2020 to date.

The largest of the year so far features Saturday of China raising EUR 387.27 million to bankroll the development of its online infrastructure.

© Zephus Ltd

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