Birkenstock owner considers IPO at $6 billion-plus value
L Catterton, the private equity firm backed by the luxury French fashion house LVMH, is considering strategic options for Birkenstock that include an initial public offering, say people familiar with the matter.
The iconic German sandal maker could be valued at more than $6 billion in an IPO, said one of the people, asking not to be identified because the details are private.
The firm is working with advisers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co. on a potential listing in the U.S., the people said. An IPO could happen this year or next, they said.
Deliberations are ongoing, and L Catterton could decide against any deal, the people added. Representatives for L Catterton, Birkenstock, and Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan declined to comment.
A transaction would come more than two years after the private equity firm and the family investment company of billionaire Bernard Arnault acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock, valuing the company at $4.9 billion. Brothers Christian and Alex Birkenstock retained a stake in the firm.
The U.S. IPO market is showing signs of emerging from a deep slump after the restaurant chain Cava Group Inc. raised $366 million last month. The stock is up 78% since then.
A storied brand founded nearly 250 years ago, Birkenstock has become a high-fashion item, launching collaborations with luxury names such as Dior, Manolo Blahnik and Valentino. The style has also spawned a range of luxury variants from labels including Celine and Givenchy.
Birkenstocks have been sold in the U.S. since 1966, after a woman named Margot Fraser discovered them on a German vacation and began importing the product. Popular with bohemians and fashionistas, the sandals enjoyed a faddish bump in the 1990s and 2000s when celebrities including Kate Moss and Heidi Klum began strolling around in them.
More recently, Birkenstock has been investing heavily in building out its production sites in Germany. This includes a new €120 million ($131 million) factory in Pasewalk, a town north of Berlin. The company has about 5,500 employees.