The Journal Gazette
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 1:00 am


IPO slated for trendy boot brand

Staff, news services

LONDON – The maker of Dr. Martens boots, the chunky-soled footwear once championed by rebellious young people but now favored by celebrities like Rihanna, plans to sell shares to the public as the existing owners seek to profit from growth of the iconic brand.

Dr. Martens Ltd. said Monday that current investors plan to sell at least 25% of their stake in an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange.

Permira Funds, a London private equity investor, bought Dr. Martens for 300 million pounds (currently worth $400 million) in 2014.

Dr. Martens Chief Executive Kenny Wilson said the IPO underscored the brand's “global growth potential” after revenue increased by 39% during the last two financial years.

Tech aid offered to Indiana businesses

The Indiana Technical Assistance Program is accepting applications through Feb. 15, the Indiana Small Business Development Center announced Monday. The statewide initiative connects small businesses with professional assistance to complete growth and improvement projects.

“INTAP helps businesses grow and thrive, especially in underserved communities, by helping them complete critical company projects they might not otherwise be able to pursue,” Indiana SBDC State Director David Watkins said in a statement.

Eligible small businesses may apply for up to $15,000 to complete projects that require specialized assistance or technical expertise such as app or technology development, intellectual property legal assistance and grant writing assistance for the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs.

INTAP has assisted 60 businesses with completing projects since the program was launched in 2017. To be eligible for INTAP, Indiana small businesses must meet certain criteria, including being a client of the Indiana Small Business Development Center.

Bitcoin's 2-day drop follows record high

The white-knuckle Bitcoin ride took another twist Monday as a two-day tumble in the digital currency stoked concern that the polarizing cryptocurrency boom may run out of steam.

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency, slid as much as 18% Sunday and Monday to as low as about $33,500. That's the biggest two-day slide since May last year and follows a record high of almost $42,000 on Friday.

Believers in Bitcoin see it as a maturing asset that provides a hedge against dollar weakness and inflation risk.

Others worry that the rally is untethered from reason and fueled by vast swaths of fiscal and monetary stimulus.

Chinese companies join on electric cars

Chinese automaker Geely says it will form an electric car venture with tech giant Baidu, adding to a flurry of corporate tie-ups in the industry to share soaring technology development costs.

Geely Holding Group, which also has separate electric car brands, said Monday the venture would focus on intelligent and connected vehicles.

Privately held Geely, best known abroad as the owner of Sweden's Volvo Cars, is one of China's biggest independent automakers. Baidu operates China's most popular internet search engine and is regarded as one of the world's leading developers of automated driving technology.

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