Dr. Martens maker sold for $506M
Boots beloved by punks now under control of European investment firm Permira Funds
The suits are taking over. An investment firm has agreed to buy Dr. Martens, the maker of the boots that became a fashion staple for punks.
Thursday's deal by Permira Funds to take control of R. Griggs Group Ltd. for £300 million ($506 million Cdn) ends 50 years of family ownership. It also puts to rest reports that the Griggs family was looking to exit the business.
Dr. Martens Chief Executive David Suddens praised the brand's status as a "symbol of self-expression" for decades, saying that Permira Funds respects and wants to nurture that heritage.
Dr. Martens employs 700 people worldwide and its products are sold in 63 countries. The deal is expected to complete in January.
Permira, which helps manage $30 billion, has stakes in Hugo Boss, New Look, and Cortefiel, a massive Spanish retailer.
Dr. Martens currently is having a fashion renaissance that recalls its 1990s hey-day, thanks to celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, who sports a clunky pair of cherry-red Docs (and very little else) in her recent Wrecking Ball video.