Dr. Martens Looking for Buyer

Fashion’s fall hopes for dealmaking seem to have slipped off the silhouette and to the shoe. Sources said Dr. Martens — which is known for its thick-soled boots with the yellow stitching made infamous by London “punks” in the Seventies — is out in the market looking for buyers and asking for a pretty penny. One financial player said the company’s owner, Permira, was looking for a “ridiculously high” valuation on the order of 1.2 billion pounds, or $1.5 billion. That would be just over 14-times the company’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which totaled 85 million pounds last year. Permira, which bought Dr. Marten in a 300 million pound deal in 2014, has some competition as it courts would-be shoe buyers. The Apax-owned Cole Haan is also said to be on the market. Cole Haan indicated in August that it was preparing for an initial public offering and one source said that is where the company is putting its efforts and that the official filing could come shortly. Companies often leave open the possibility of a sale while they also move toward an IPO since such a “dual-track process” can help nudge buyers by providing another exit for the investor. Cole Haan

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