The investment fund Pamplona Capital Management, which manages the foreign assets of the owners of Alfa Group, is interested in purchasing the manufacturer of the iconic British footwear Dr. Martens, The Sunday Times reported citing its sources.
Pamplona was founded in 2005 by Alex Knaster, a former top manager of Alfa Bank, after leaving the organization. Key investors of Pamplona funds are co-owners of Alfa Group (Mikhail Fridman, German Khan, Alexey Kuzmichev).
Another contender for the shoe brand, according to the newspaper, is the private equity fund Electra Partners.
Originally the brand Dr. Martens, put up for sale this year, was estimated at about £ 120 million, but strong interest from potential buyers allowed its owners, the Griggs family, to significantly increase requests, the newspaper writes. The Griggs hired investment bank Rothschild to sell the company, which had been screening potential buyers for a second round this week. According to the newspaper, now the Griggs intend to bail out about 200 million pounds for their business.
The Griggs family bought the Dr. Martens from its founder - the doctor Klaus Martens, who fought on the fronts of World War II and was firsthand familiar with uncomfortable military boots. After the war, he began to produce footwear that combined an aggressive military look with a comfortable last.
Brand Dr. Martens, especially popular with punks and leatherheads in the 70s, is now experiencing a renaissance. Its sales are growing in all major markets - in Europe, Asia and North America, under this brand, clothes and shoes of various styles are now produced. According to the results of fiscal 2011, ended in March, profit from the sale of Dr. Martens was £ 22 million. The revenues of R. Griggs company, which owns the brand, exceeded 112 million pounds.
Vedomosti failed to contact Fridman, but one of the businessman's partners heard of his interest in the deal. The representative of R. Griggs has not yet responded to the inquiry, the Vedomosti newspaper writes.