LONDON - The suits are taking over. An investment firm has agreed to buy Dr. Martens, the maker of the boots that became a fashion staple for punks.

Thursday's deal by Permira Funds to take control of R Griggs Group Ltd. for 300 million pounds ($485.9 million) ends 50 years of family ownership. It also puts to rest reports that the Griggs family was looking to exit the business.

Dr. Martens Chief Executive David Suddens praised the brand's status as a "symbol of self-expression" for decades, saying that Permira Funds respects and wants to nurture that heritage.

Dr. Martens employs 700 people worldwide and its products are sold in 63 countries. The deal is expected to complete in January.

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