Friday, October 19, 2018

Dr Martens owner Permira sizing up Reiss for minority stake


David Reiss, founder and controlling shareholder of Reiss, is understood to be holding discussions with several prospective investors in order to drive international expansion.

According to Sky News, a decision about a preferred bidder is expected to be made within weeks, and be signed by later this year.

Permira, the private equity group which owns Dr Martens, is among those investors and has made an offer to buy a minority stake in the upmarket fashion retailer.

At least two other firms are said to be competing with Permira to secure a deal, sources claim.

Permira bought a significant stake in Dr Martens in 2014, and was a large shareholder in high street giant New Look until last year.

Mr Reiss had appointed Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley in summer to conduct a review of options for the business.

People close to the company have suggested that a deal could value Reiss at as much as £325m, although a more precise figure based on current trading performance is not currently available.

A valuation above £300m would be hefty for a company which made £9m in pre-tax profit in 2013, although profits are said to have doubled last year and are expected to exceed £25m this year, an insider said.

Mr Reiss would likely retain retain a majority interest in the business.