An iconic, German-made footwear brand with a devoted global fan base has filed to go public in the U.S.
Birkenstock, which was founded some 250 years ago, has filed for an initial public offering. The company, whose filing didn’t how many shares it will list or a price range, plans to list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BIRK. The IPO could be valued at more than $8 billion, according to Bloomberg.
L Catterton bought a majority stake in Birkenstock in 2021 in a deal that valued the company at about $4.8 billion. L Catterton, which describes itself as the largest global consumer-focused private equity firm, is backed by global conglomerate LVMH, which owns 75 fashion and cosmetics brands.
In its filing, Birkenstock said it has seen “consistently robust revenue growth and operating margins” and “excellent” sell-through rates. In the six months ending March 31, Birkenstock’s revenue rose 19% to 644.2 million euros, or $693.2 million. Net income fell 45%, largely due to a foreign exchange loss.
Birkenstock has long enjoyed a cult following. But during the past two years, the comfort-focused brand has evolved into a hot fashion item and a favorite among celebrities and influencers, with its popularity boosted by social media. More than half — 54% — of the company’s customers are in the Americas with Europe accounting for 36%, according to the filing.
Birkenstock’s filing comes as the brand is enjoying a new boost of publicity from the blockbuster “Barbie” movie. In one of the film’s scenes, star Margot Robbie is seen wearing a pair of pink Birkenstocks. The chef/star of the hit Huli series, “The Bear,” also wears Birkenstocks.
“We are a brand backed by a family tradition of a quarter of a millennium with the resilience, timeless relevance, and credibility of a multi-generational business,” CEO Oliver Reichert said in a letter to investors included in the filing.
Founded in Germany, Birkenstock is now based its London. Its products are sold in more than 100 countries around the globe. In 2017, the company added natural cosmetics to its product lineup.