Shares in Dr Martens jumped to a 14 per cent premium over its initial public offering price on Friday as Moonpig indicated it would also price its forthcoming float at the top end of the range.
The iconic British boot brand once beloved of punks and skinheads had priced its offering at 370p a share, giving it a market capitalisation on admission of £3.7bn. By mid-morning on Friday the shares were trading at 423p in conditional dealing, where settlement is deferred until unconditional trading begins on February 3.
The offer for the group, best known for its eight-eyelet DM boots embraced by rebellious youth subcultures of the 1960s and 1970s, was eight times oversubscribed.
Dr Martens, which was taken over by private equity group Permira nearly eight years ago for £300m, announced its intention to float on January 18. Permira still owns 75 per cent.
Online greetings card retailer Moonpig said it was accelerating its own stock market flotation and would price its offer at the top end of the 310p-350p range — implying a market value of £1.2bn.
Existing shareholders, led by private equity group Exponent, will sell more than initially planned with the total deal size expected to reach £549m assuming the “greenshoe” — which gives underwriters the option to sell more shares if demand is strong — is exercised.
The IPO had previously been expected to raise £422m, mostly from sales of shares by existing investors. Moonpig’s larger deal and accelerated listing time underscore the extent to which investors are eager to fund companies with a strong online presence and to benefit from the fiery rally in equity prices.
Conditional dealings in the shares are now expected to start on February 2. Investment groups BlackRock and Dragoneer are among the cornerstone investors in the IPO, taking £130m of the shares on offer.
Dr Martens’ existing shareholders will sell 350m shares for a total offer size of £1.3bn that will represent 35 per cent of its issued share capital.
“We have been delighted by the strong levels of interest, engagement and support from such a high quality selection of institutional investors,” said Dr Martens’ chief executive Kenny Wilson.
“The successful transformation of Dr Martens is a great story, and what is even more exciting is the huge potential ahead.”
Moonpig was founded two decades ago but sales and profits have accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic as consumers sent cards and gifts to friends and family instead of visiting in person.
Sales were £173m in the year to April 2020 and are expected to rise sharply again in the current financial year. The group is touting its growth credentials, pointing out that the online market for cards is still only about 10 per cent of the total.
It had been laying the ground for a stock market flotation for two years. It appointed Kate Swann, who was chief executive of WHSmith and catering group SSP, as chairman in 2019.
The multibillion-pound valuations ascribed to the two companies are in stark contrast to the low multiples at which shares in traditional retailers are now trading.
Card Factory, one of the largest chains of card shops in the UK with annual revenues of £450m before the pandemic struck, is worth just £122m. On Friday it said its bankers had given it just a month to avoid a breach of its lending covenants.
Paperchase, an upmarket stationery and greetings card group, was sold for an undisclosed price in a prepack administration on Thursday.
Additional reporting by Nikou Asgari