Dr. Martens, the footwear brand made famous as a “counterculture style icon” in the 1960s, is looking to go public on the London Stock Exchange. The company started with its well-known boot designed by Dr. Klaus Maertens in 1945. NPR reported that the prototype had an air-cushioned sole to promote healing a broken foot.
The Griggs Family of England, which already manufactured shoes, bought exclusive rights to the boot in 1960. It grew from a utilitarian work boot to a symbol of youthful rebellion by various grunge groups. Pete Townshend of The Who is often credited for his role in boosting the boot’s popularity as well.
Dr. Martens' IPO plans
The well-known boot brand is looking to IPO on the London Stock Exchange sometime in 2021. The IPO will likely involve the sale of at least 25 percent of its shares, including those of Permira, according to CNN Business.
Dr. Martens' IPO valuation
Dr. Martens could have a valuation of about $4 billion or 3 billion pounds, according to MarketWatch. Currently, the company sells about 11 million pairs of shoes and boots annually in over 60 countries.
The British footwear company saw a severe drop in sales revenue early in 2000, which led to some factory closures. However, in 2014, Permira acquired the brand for about $400 million. Since then, the company's sales have increased substantially. Dr. Martens went from $220 million in revenue in 2014 to over $900 million in revenue in the year ending March 2020, according to NPR.
Permira has brought growth to the company through investing in e-commerce, which represented 30 percent of its total revenue in the nine months ending Dec. 31, 2020, according to MarketWatch. Even though most stores were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company's revenue increased for the six-month period ending September 30, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019.
Dr. Martens' IPO price
Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs are the joint global coordinators for Dr. Martens’ IPO. The joint book-runners include Barclays, HSBC, Bank of America, and RBC Europe. The valuation may be at about 3 billion pounds or $4 billion.
Dr. Martens CEO Kenny Wilson cited the company’s “significant global growth potential” as part of its motivation in moving forward with an IPO, according to MarketWatch.
How to buy Dr. Martens IPO stock
Since Dr. Martens is an international company and it will debut publicly on the London Stock Exchange, U.S. investors will have to follow different means to buy shares. Buying the stock of a company listed on a foreign exchange is a bit more complicated for U.S. investors.
In order to buy international stocks, investors can purchase shares in ETFs that have international holdings. There are also mutual funds that offer global exposure. You can sometimes buy shares through Robinhood if the company has an American Depository Receipt.
A less common route is to open a global account with a domestic broker. You can also open an account locally in the country where you want to invest.
Other companies that may have an IPO in London in 2021 include food delivery company Deliveroo, MacLaren Group, Jaguar Land Rover, and BrewDog, according to CNN Business.