German Sandal Maker Birkenstock Set to Raise $1.58bn in NY Stock Market Debut
German sandal maker Birkenstock, known for its iconic orthopaedic shoes, is set to go public on the New York Stock Exchange later this month. The company is expected to be valued at up to €9.2bn ($9.7bn) and plans to raise as much as $1.58bn through the sale of 32.2 million ordinary shares. The stock flotation, scheduled for 11 October, represents a significant milestone for the brand, which was founded in 1774.
Birkenstock has experienced a resurgence in popularity over the past two years, with celebrities and fashion influencers embracing the comfortable and utilitarian sandals. Stars like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid, and Sienna Miller have all been spotted wearing Birkenstock footwear. Last year, the brand became one of the most purchased fashion items in the UK. The sandals, known for their broad straps and cork and latex soles, have a long history of international acclaim.
The brand gained popularity in the United States during the 1960s when it was adopted by hippies attracted to their no-frills comfort. However, it was supermodel Kate Moss who catapulted the sandals into the fashion spotlight when she wore them for a fashion shoot in the 1990s. Since then, iconic fashion houses like Paco Rabanne, Valentino, and Celine have created their own versions of Birkenstock sandals, even showcasing them on runways.
Despite its current success, Birkenstock faces challenges in the fast-paced fashion industry. Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, warned that fashion trends can be fickle and that counterfeit goods could harm the brand’s reputation. However, Birkenstock’s commitment to manufacturing 95% of its products in Germany could work in its favor, appealing to consumers who prioritize ethically produced goods.
In the nine months ending 30 June this year, Birkenstock reported revenues of €1.11bn ($1.17bn), an increase of 21% compared to the previous year. However, net profit for the same period decreased by 20% to €129.1m ($136.2m). The company, headquartered in Linz am Rhein, Germany, employs around 6,200 people worldwide and maintains several manufacturing sites in the country.
In 2021, Birkenstock sold a majority stake to private equity group L Catterton and the family holding fund of French luxury magnate Bernard Arnault. As part of its public debut, Birkenstock has nominated Alexandre Arnault, Bernard Arnault’s son, to join its board. The company will list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BIRK.”
Birkenstock’s journey from its origins as a maker of orthopaedic shoes in 1774 to its upcoming IPO reflects a remarkable evolution. As the brand looks towards the future, it aims to retain its popularity and appeal to fashion-conscious consumers while staying true to its German heritage.
More detail via The Guardian here… ( Image via The Guardian )