Classic boot brand Dr Martens announced its intention to pursue a London stock market listing today, kicking off what is expected to be a brisk start to the year for European initial public offerings (IPOs) after a pandemic-disrupted 2020.
Private equity owner Permira will sell part of its stake in the IPO, alongside other existing shareholders, Dr. Martens said in a statement.
A source close to the transaction said the deal could value the firm at more than £2 billion.
Permira bought Dr Martens, known for its yellow stitching and a youth culture staple, in 2014 for €380m.
The boot maker was founded in 1947 and had revenues of £672m in the year ended March 31, 2020, a company statement said.
No new shares will be issued as part of the IPO, which would give the company a free float of at least 25%, it added.
The announcement comes with Britain back in lockdown to stem the rapid spread of a new variant of the coronavirus and after the pandemic pushed most of the world into a recession in 2020.
Markets have remained resilient, however, with investors confident that vaccination programmes and fiscal stimulus will get the global economy back in gear later this year.
"Markets have continued their performance from last year... which means that this will be the first of a significant number of IPO announcements. The pipeline is very full," said a second source close to the Dr Martens deal.
"Companies that have profited from the current environment or have a high degree of resilience to it have a good deal available to them," he added.
World stocks have risen around 3% so far this year, while Britain's FTSE 100 index is up 6%.
Companies such as AUTO1 and Otto Group in Germany, Polish postal service InPost and tech firms Darktrace and Deliveroo in Britain are all believed to be planning listings in early 2021.
Since taking control of Dr Martens, Permira has expanded the firm's global presence, reporting an average 20% to 30% revenue growth in recent years.