Manufacturing News

Permira to purchase Dr Martens for £300m

Iconic British boot maker Dr Martens has been purchased by private equity firm Permira for £300m ($507 million).

AAP reports that the majority owner of the company, the Griggs family first attempted to sell the company 15 months ago, but failed to secure an acceptable offer. 

In this successful deal, expected to complete in January, the Griggs family will retain control of around 20 per cent of the business. 

It will see Permira take control of parent company R Griggs. The boots and shoes will join the Permira stable. Other brands within this group include Hugo Boss and New Look.

The deal requires the owners to pay a separate royalty fee to the brand inventors' families, Dr Klaus Maertens and Dr Herbert Funck. This follows a license deal which requires the buyer to pay a set 2.5 per cent of sales up to £200m a year and a further 2 per cent for sales above that.

Doc Martens footwear was first made in 1960. Ever since, they have been adopted on and off by youth culture. Everyone from Pete Townsend to Joe Strummer to Kurt Cobain has worn them.

The shoes feature an air-cushioned sole which was invented in Germany by Maertens and Funck. They were originally intended to be worn by Maertens who had injured his foot in a skiing accident. While named after Maertens, the company name was anglicised to ‘Dr Martens’. 

From 1960, the Griggs family manufactured the products at their Northamptonshire factory. Today, most production is done in Asia but the original Northamptonshire factory was reopened in 2007 to produce vintage styles.

Image: Wikipedia

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