Birkenstock unveils IPO plans in latest sign of listings revival

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Birkenstock has unveiled its filing for an initial public offering in New York, in the latest sign that the US market for listings is reviving after a more than 18-month downturn.

The German sandal maker has been targeting a valuation of more than $8bn in an IPO, according to people familiar with the matter. The company filed a confidential prospectus to regulators in July, but Tuesday’s public filing would allow the company to join the New York Stock Exchange from early October.

Its owner L Catterton is aiming to list the week beginning October 9, according to people familiar with the matter.

An offering for Birkenstock would come on the heels of several high-profile deals, including UK-based chip designer Arm and grocery app Instacart.

It would also be the second IPO for one of L Catterton’s portfolio companies in a matter of months, following online beauty retailer Oddity Tech’s listing on the Nasdaq exchange in July.

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The strong reception given to Oddity and several other companies that listed at the start of summer helped build confidence among dealmakers and IPO candidates after one of the most prolonged fundraising freezes in decades.

That confidence has been further fuelled by the impending Arm listing, which is set to raise up to $4.9bn for its owner SoftBank. Arm’s offering — the largest since November 2021 — was multiple times oversubscribed and order books closed a day early on Tuesday amid the strong demand.

Birkenstock reported revenues of $644mn in the six months ended March 31, up 19 per cent on the same period the previous financial year. However, net profit dropped 45 per cent to $40mn due to a sharp rise in operating expenses.

The company has been attempting to sell a greater share of its footwear directly to consumers instead of through retailers, which it said had driven up costs. Profits were also hit by higher wages and a weaker US dollar.

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Birkenstock traces its roots back to 1774, but chief executive Oliver Reichert insisted in the company’s prospectus that it “remains empowered by a youthful energy level, with all the freshness and creative versatility of an inspired Silicon Valley start-up”.

It took private equity money for the first time when L Catterton, which is backed by French luxury fashion house LVMH, bought a majority stake in the company in 2021 in a deal valuing Birkenstock at €4bn. Two members of the Birkenstock family retain a minority share.

L Catterton declined to comment.