Private Equity Firm Buys Dr. Martens

Oct 24 2013 | 9:39am ET

A countercultural icon is set to join private-equity firm Permira's portfolio.

The London-based firm has agreed to acquire the R. Griggs Group, makers of the famed Dr. Martens boots. Permira will pay £300 million (US$485 million) for the business, which has been family-owned since its founding in 1901.

The boots, famed for their cushioned soles, have been popular with succeeding waves of youth subcultures, including punks in the 1970s and 1980s and fans of grunge rock in the 1990s. Now, they join a portfolio that includes such high-end fashion names as Hugo Boss and New Look; Permira sold Valentino last year.

"The Permira funds have extensive expertise in backing global brands, as demonstrated with Hugo Boss and Valentino, and we are looking forward to supporting the management team in this exciting next phase of the company's development," Permira consumer chief Cheryl Potter said.

"The Permira funds respect that heritage, and want to support the management team in nuturing it," Dr. Martens CEO David Suddens said.

The deal is expected to close in January.

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