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Dr. Martens Limited has announced its intention to float on the premium listing segment of the Official List of the Financial Conduct Authority and the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange (LSE). The company published its registration document on 11 January 2021. Should the IPO go ahead, it would contain no primary element and instead comprise a secondary sell-down of existing ordinary shares by IngreLux and certain other existing shareholders, giving the company a free float of at least 25%. It is also expected that shares representing up to a further 15% of the offer will be made available pursuant to an over-allotment option.
Permira, a private equity company, bought the Griggs family’s 91.5% stake in Dr. Martens, one of the most recognised footwear brands in the world, selling in excess of 11 million pairs of footwear annually in more than 60 countries, for roughly £343m in 2014. Since then, the investment group has expanded the boot maker’s global presence, reporting an average 20% to 30% revenue growth in recent years. CEO Kenny Wilson commented ‘The announcement of our intention to float reflects the great achievements of the Dr. Martens team and brand over the past seven years. Even more important is the significant global growth potential for Dr. Martens in the future’.
Dr. Martens stated that much of its success can be attributed to e-commerce, having rapidly grown direct-to-consumer channels which comprised 45% of revenue in 2020, up from 26% in 2015. E-commerce is expected to continue to be the main driver of company’s growth over the coming years. In its announcement, the Dr. Martens also mentioned that ‘The brand’s digital operation helped it during the pandemic despite the majority of its stores being closed for months on end during successive lockdowns’.
The impact on the retail industry as a result of the pandemic, specifically within e-commerce, was explored in our Market Tracker trend update: IPOs in Q3 2020. Our research found that an increased focus on digital and remote services in Q3, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, appeared to be influencing the type of companies choosing to pursue a listing. In 2018 and 2019 there had been only one IPO within the retail and wholesale and consumer products industries, in comparison to the previous year which saw two retail IPOs. Brexit may be another factor likely to affect future trends in the number of IPOs in the retail industry. Britain’s leading retailers have suspended deliveries to customers and are reviewing their supply chains to Ireland and other European markets while they assess how to avoid tariffs imposed by the UK’s post-Brexit trade deal with the EU.
Market Tracker will be providing a full analysis of trends in IPOs throughout 2020 in its ECM Trend Report, scheduled to be published later this year.
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Market Tracker is a unique service for corporate lawyers housed within Lexis®PSL Corporate. It features a powerful transaction data analysis tool for accessing, analysing and comparing the specific features of corporate transactions, with a comprehensive and searchable library of deal documentation across 14 different deal types. The Market Tracker product also includes news and analysis of key corporate deals and activity and in-depth analysis of recent trends in corporate transactions.
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