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Private equity tries to become sole proprietor

Dr Martens, the British bootmaker synonymous with the punk movement and currently enjoying a renaissance, has drawn bids from a number of private equity firms.

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Dr Martens, the British bootmaker synonymous with the punk movement and currently enjoying a renaissance, has drawn bids from a number of private equity firms. 

According to a report in the Independent, Rothschild was hired earlier this year and first-round bids were due last week. 

Electra Partners is just one private equity firm thought to be in the running for the business. Electra declined to comment on the rumoured bid. 

The brainchild of German soldier Klaus Märtens, shoe manufacturer R Griggs Group bought the rights to make the shoes in 1959.

By the 1970s, the company's trademark air-cushioned boots had been appropriated and made famous by the punk and skinhead movements. 

Today the boots have seen a revival with the likes of pop diva Rihanna sporting the iconic brand in her video for We Found Love last year. 

The business fell on hard times during the early noughties, but managed to make its way into eighth place in the Sunday Times 2012 Profit Track 100 after its profits surged 107 per cent from £2.1m (€2.6m) in 2008 to £18.8m in 2011.

Between 2009 and 2011 Dr Martens opened 14 new stores, six of which are in the US and two in Asia. Private equity is hoping to push this growth further and back the company’s plans to open another 34 stores over the next five years. 

Picture: Source