Dr. Martens maker sold for $506M

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.

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.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.