**L Catterton Considers IPO for Birkenstock, Valued at $6 Billion**
Private equity firm L Catterton, backed by luxury fashion house LVMH, is exploring strategic options for Birkenstock, including the possibility of an initial public offering (IPO), according to sources familiar with the matter. The IPO could value the iconic German sandal maker at more than $6 billion. L Catterton is working with advisors from Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase on the potential listing in the US. The decision on whether to proceed with the IPO is still under consideration, and representatives for L Catterton, Birkenstock, and the two investment banks declined to comment.
**Background: Acquisition of Birkenstock and Potential IPO**
L Catterton and the family investment company of billionaire Bernard Arnault acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock over two years ago, which valued the company at $4.9 billion. The Birkenstock founders, Christian and Alex Birkenstock, retained their stake in the firm. Now, L Catterton is exploring the possibility of taking the company public through an IPO. The IPO could take place either this year or next year, depending on market conditions and company considerations.
**Positive Outlook for IPOs in the US Market**
The US IPO market is showing signs of recovery after a period of decline. Cava Group Inc., a restaurant chain, recently raised $366 million through its IPO. Since then, the stock has experienced a 78% increase. This positive performance indicates a favorable environment for potential IPOs, including Birkenstock’s potential listing.
**Birkenstock: From Traditional Sandals to High-Fashion Collaboration**
Birkenstock, a brand with a rich history spanning nearly 250 years, has evolved into a high-fashion item. The company has collaborated with luxury brands such as Dior, Manolo Blahnik, and Valentino. Additionally, other luxury labels, including Celine and Givenchy, have created their own luxury versions of Birkenstock’s iconic style. This transition from traditional sandals to high-fashion collaborations has contributed to the brand’s popularity and appeal.
**Birkenstock’s Journey in the US Market**
Birkenstock has been present in the US market since 1966 when a woman named Margot Fraser discovered the sandals during a vacation in Germany and began importing them. Over the years, Birkenstocks gained popularity among bohemians and fashion enthusiasts. In the 1990s and 2000s, they experienced a surge in popularity when celebrities like Kate Moss and Heidi Klum were spotted wearing them.
**Investing in German Production Sites**
In recent years, Birkenstock has made significant investments in expanding its production sites in Germany. One notable investment is the construction of a new €120 million ($131 million) factory in Pasewalk, a town north of Berlin. These investments aim to enhance the company’s manufacturing capabilities and support its commitment to German craftsmanship. Currently, Birkenstock has approximately 5,500 employees.
In conclusion, L Catterton is exploring the possibility of initiating an IPO for Birkenstock, with the company potentially being valued at over $6 billion. This move comes more than two years after L Catterton and Bernard Arnault’s family investment company acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock. The US IPO market is showing signs of recovery, creating a favorable environment for potential listings. Birkenstock has transformed from traditional sandals to a high-fashion brand, collaborating with luxury names and inspiring luxury variants from other labels. The brand has a strong presence in the US market, and recent investments have focused on expanding its production sites in Germany.