Bootmaker Dr Martens sees stake building by activist investor
Britain’s Dr Martens’ shares were trading up 4% after Sky News reported that activist fund manager Sparta Capital accumulated stock worth tens of millions of pounds in the London-listed bootmaker.
The report said that Sparta, launched by Franck Tuil, a former Elliott Management exec, has been engaging with the company’s board in an attempt to improve its financial and operating performance.
Shares in Dr Martens, which have fallen almost 68% since listing in 2021, were trading up, as of 07:30 GMT on 31 July, making it the top gainer on London’s FTSE 250 index.
Dr Martens, whose work boots have been fashionable since the 1960s, has been struggling with waning demand in the U.S. – the second-largest and toughest market for the firm – as consumers cut back on discretionary spending amid high inflation.
The U.S. will continue to weigh on its profit margins, the bootmaker said in June.
Dr Martens and Sparta did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment on the Sky report.