Sep 13, 2023
Birkenstock has filed for an initial public offering, in another sign of the allure US equity markets hold for European firms seeking a valuation uplift.
The German footwear maker, whose iconic sandals are worn by hippies and preppies alike, plans to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BIRK, according to a filing on Tuesday. The company will disclose the proposed terms of the share sale in a later filing.
The 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 private equity firm L Catterton and the family investment company of billionaire Bernard Arnault acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock, valuing it at about €4 billion ($4.3 billion).
The US market for IPOs looks like it’s finally coming back to life after 18 months in the doldrums. Birkenstock’s IPO filing comes hot the heels of others from SoftBank Group Corp.’s semiconductor designer Arm, grocery delivery firm Instacart Inc. and marketing and data automation provider Klaviyo Inc.
Founded nearly 250 years ago, Birkenstock has become a high-fashion brand, launching collaborations with luxury names such as Dior, Manolo Blahnik and Valentino, and spawning variants from labels including Celine and Givenchy. Its sandals have been sold in the US since 1966.
A listing would cap off a successful run for the company, whose family heirs stepped back from management duties about a decade ago. Since then, it’s streamlined strategy, launched high-profile collaborations and experienced explosive growth in demand.
The company saw revenue rise 29% to roughly €1.2 billion last year, leading to adjusted earnings of €394 million. Sales have been boosted of late by the blockbuster Barbie movie, whose star Margot Robbie sports a pair of pink Birkenstocks in one scene.
Birkenstock has also been investing heavily in building out its production sites in Germany, including a new €120 million factory in Pasewalk, a town north of Berlin.