Birkenstock just filed for a potentially loud IPO that could value the 250-year-old sandal maker at $8 billion. | ET REALITY


Birkenstock has filed for an initial public offering, in another sign of the appeal of U.S. stock markets to European companies seeking a valuation boost.

The German footwear maker, whose iconic sandals are worn by hippies and preppies alike, will continue to be controlled by private equity firm L Catterton, according to a presentation on Tuesday. The company will disclose the proposed terms of the stock sale in a subsequent filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

IPO could value Birkenstock at more than $8 billion, Bloomberg News reported previously. Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley are leading the offering, which comes more than two years after L Catterton and billionaire Bernard Arnault’s family investment firm took a majority stake in Birkenstock. valuing It amounts to about 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion).

Listing increase

The US IPO market appears to be finally coming back to life after 18 months of stagnation. Birkenstock’s IPO filing comes hot on the heels of others from semiconductor designer SoftBank Group Corp. Armgrocery delivery company Instacart Inc. and data and marketing automation provider Klaviyo Inc.

Birkenstock, founded almost 250 years ago, developed a contoured footbed for comfort. Trendy cork-lined sandals took hold in the 1970s, when shoppers from the Southwest U.S. to Europe fell in love with the comfortable style. Since then, Birkenstock has become a high-fashion brand, launching collaborations with luxury names like Dior, Manolo Blahnik and Valentino, and spawning variants from brands like Celine and Givenchy.

More than half (54%) of the company’s customers are in the Americas, with Europe accounting for 36%, according to Tuesday’s filing. While women make up 72% of Birkenstock customers, the footwear has broad intergenerational appeal, led by millennials with 31% of sales, followed by baby boomers with 30%, Generation X with 27%. % and Generation Z with 12%.

An IPO would cap a successful run for the company, whose family heirs stepped down from management roles about a decade ago. Since then, it has streamlined its strategy, launched high-profile collaborations and seen explosive growth in demand.

‘Oldest start’

“We consider ourselves the oldest startup in the world,” CEO Oliver Reichert said in a letter to investors included in the presentation. “We are a brand backed by a quarter-millennium family tradition with the resilience, timeless relevance and credibility of a multi-generational company.”

Sales have been boosted lately by box office success. Barbie film, whose star Margot Robbie sports a pair of pink Birkenstocks in one scene.

During the six-month period ended March 31, the company obtained a net profit of 40 million euros on revenues of 644 million euros, according to the document. That compares with €73 million on revenue of €543 million during the same period a year ago.

Birkenstock has also been investing heavily in building its production centers in Germany, including a new €120 million factory in Pasewalk, a town north of Berlin.

The company, which will become Birkenstock Holding Ltd., plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BIRK.

Leave a Comment