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Dr Martens expects to make more than a fashion statement with London float

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Dr Martens, maker of the iconic boot and shoe range, has announced plans for a stock market float.

Owner Permira, which took control of the business for £300mln in 2013, is looking to sell stake in the group, which last year generated sales of £672mln and pre-tax profits of just over £100mln.

The original 1460 eight-eyelet boot with yellow welt stitches was the invention of the German doctor Klaus Märtens, who designed it to relieve back pain.

The licence was acquired by the Griggs family which probably didn’t expect such a utilitarian design to become a fashion statement of punks and skinheads during the 1970s and early ‘80s.

The original boot spawned the DM shoe, which then gave us a multi-coloured universe of footwear, beloved of the avant-garde and edgy.

Today Dr Martens’ lines are mostly sold through other retailers. However, the group has developed an online presence that helped generate around a fifth of its revenue last year and will be key to future growth.

Chief executive Kenny Wilson said: “Our iconic brand appeals to a diverse range of consumers around the world who wear our footwear to express their individual style.

“We have invested massively to ensure that we deliver the best digital and store experiences to connect with our wearers, and through this, we are driving our long term, sustainable growth.”

The company nor Permira have not yet made public what valuation they are aiming for, with previous reports suggesting an initial public offer could value the group at around £1bn.

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