Dr. Martens valued at more than $5 billion in London IPO

LONDON (Reuters) – Classic boot brand Dr. Martens kicked off its London IPO in style on Friday, attracting bumper demand in a sale valuing the company at more than $5 billion that is likely to spur other British companies to follow suit.

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Dr. Martensโ€™ share were up 19% in their market debut after the company priced the deal at the top of an indicative range at 370 pence, raising nearly 1.3 billion pounds and giving it a market capitalisation of 3.7 billion pounds ($5.07 billion).

Dr. Martens, known for its chunky boots with yellow stitching, is the first of several British IPO candidates to hit the market, as issuers look to make up for 2020 when the spread of COVID-19 wreaked havoc on economies and dented stock market listing volumes in Europe.

The IPO also marks a major win for Dr Martens majority owner, private equity firm Permira, which bought the company in 2014 for 380 million euros ($460.10 million).

โ€œWe have been delighted by the strong levels of interest, engagement and support from such a high quality selection of institutional investors,โ€ said Chief Executive Kenny Wilson.

โ€œThe successful transformation of Dr. Martens is a great story, and what is even more exciting is the huge potential ahead.โ€

Dr Martens could sell a further 52.5 million shares on top of the initial 350 million shares sold, following heavy demand. The offer was eight times oversubscribed, it said in a statement. Sale of the additional shares would mean 40.3% of its stock was publicly traded.

The Dr Martens listing follows that of Polish locker business InPost, which listed in Amsterdam on Wednesday with a valuation of 9.5 billion euros ($11.50 billion) and jumped 20% on its debut.

In Britain, e-card retailer Moonpig is also making preparations for a London IPO, while others such as Deliveroo and Darktrace are among companies expected to announce plans for substantial listings later in the year.

The rapid spread of a new coronavirus variant is expected to hit economies in Britain and beyond, but the stock market has remained resilient and demand for tech and growth firms remains strong.

Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley were joint global co-ordinators for Dr Martens IPO, and Barclays, HSBC, Bank of America and RBC Europe were joint bookrunners. Lazard was financial adviser.

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