NEW YORK, United States — Carlyle Group LP is considering a bid for Dr. Martens, the iconic British bootmaker owned by rival buyout firm Permira, people with knowledge of the matter said.
Carlyle is in the early stages of deliberations on a potential offer, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. No final decisions have been made, and other suitors could emerge, the people said.
Permira is working with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Robert W. Baird & Co. as it explores options for Dr. Martens including a sale or IPO of the business, Bloomberg News reported in June. It is targeting an exit in 2020, people with knowledge of the matter said at the time.
Sky News reported Carlyle’s interest earlier Thursday, citing unidentified people. Representatives for Carlyle and Permira declined to comment.
Carlyle has owned Golden Goose, the Italian luxury sneaker brand favoured by celebrities from Selena Gomez to Taylor Swift, since 2017. It’s recently started exploring options for the shoemaker, including a potential sale, Bloomberg News reported in September.
Golden Goose’s sales have risen to an estimated €260 million in the latest financial year, up from around €100 million when Carlyle first invested, one of the people said. Its earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization are forecast to rise to €80 million this year, up from €32 million three years earlier, according to the person.
Any deal would add to the $60.8 billion in sales of U.K. consumer companies announced this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Permira bought Dr. Martens in 2014 for €380 million. It has since boosted the company’s global presence, opening 24 stores last year, and expanded its e-commerce offering.
The company behind the iconic footwear was founded in the 1940s by German doctor Klaus Martens. The boots were elevated to rock star status in the late 1960s, when The Who’s Pete Townshend started wearing them onstage.
By Sarah Syed with Dinesh Nair; Editors: Ben Scent, Adveith Nair, Anthony Palazzo.