Permira, which acquired Dr Martens in 2014 for €380 million (£352.77 million), is said to be seeking a London listing early next year and has appointed the advisers to handle the preparation work for the 73-year-old firm, sources told Reuters.
Earlier this year, Permira was close to sealing a deal with investment firm Carlyle. Carlyle, which sold the Golden Goose footwear brand to Permira, was said to have seen off other potentially interested parties in Martens, including rival KKR.
The COVID-19 pandemic put halt to the deal but Lazard may seek to resurrect the talks with Carlyle alongside the IPO preparation, however there is no guarantee a deal could be made.
Since acquiring Dr Martens, Permira has expanded the brand’s global presence, invested in its e-commerce and reported an average 20% to 30% revenue growth in recent years.
Group revenue increased 30% to £454.4 million in the financial year ending in March 2019, from £348.6 million in 2018, while core earnings were up 70% to £85 million.
Dr Martens said it had recorded a “balanced global performance with all major markets reporting double-digit revenue growth.”
The brand temporarily closed its stores towards the end of its financial year due to the Coronavirus lockdown, but has opened almost all of its stores since lockdown eased.