An activist investor has reportedly set its sights on Dr Martens after shares of the footwear specialist slumped in light of supply chain issues and a slowdown in sales.
Fund manager Sparta Capital is understood to have quietly become one of the top shareholders in the LSE-listed company after accumulating stock worth “tens of millions of pounds”, as reported by Sky News.
According to a source for the media outlet, Sparta, launched in 2021 by Franck Tuil, has been working with Dr Martens’ board in a bid to improve financials.
The revelation comes as the British brand saw its valuation deteriorate following weakening demand and a drop in sales in the US market.
At its listing price of 370 pence-a-share, the business was initially valued at 3.7 billion pounds when it first entered the stock exchange two years ago.
Now, Sky stated that its market capitalisation sat at 1.46 billion pounds after its shares nearly halved during the past year.
In July, Dr Martens said that it would be turning its attention towards the Americas region after its experienced lower year-on-year revenues for the first quarter of the year.
Direct-to-consumer, however, had seen good growth in EMEA and APAC, as retail traffic began to recover post-Covid and e-commerce continued to strengthen.
Meanwhile, Dr Martens’ wholesale revenues took a hit across all three regions, as it anticipated, impacted largely by decisions to reduce EMEA e-tailer supply and cease sales to a Chinese distributor ahead of its ending contract.