The manufacturer of German sandals Birkenstock, whose image has been revolutionized in recent years to become a fashionable brand, filed its file on Tuesday for an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange, according to a document published on the website of the American regulator, the SEC. The prospectus does not give a date for the listing of the securities of the company controlled by the investment company L Catterton, with which the world leader in luxury LVMH and its boss Bernard Arnault are associated.
According to the Wall Street Journal, shareholders are counting on a valuation of more than seven billion dollars for the company whose headquarters is located in Linz am Rhein (southwest of Germany), not far from Bonn. The Birkenstock filing is a new illustration of the restart of IPOs, which should be kicked off this week by the introduction of semiconductor designer Arm, also in New York.
The document filed Tuesday is a preliminary filing, which does not mention the number of shares the group wants to offer to investors. It reveals that during its last fiscal year, closed at the end of September 2022, Birkenstock generated a turnover of 1.24 billion euros ($1.22 billion at the time) and a net profit of 187 million euros ($183 million). Over the six months from October 2022 to March 2023, revenues reached 644 million euros, an increase of 18%. In eight years, Birkenstock has more than quadrupled its turnover.
Founded in 1774 by shoemaker Johann Adam Birkenstock, the company began by marketing soles, before launching into sandals in 1963. German sandals were worn by the emancipation movement of Western youth during the 60s and 70s, with a more relaxed clothing style.
But the brand then became outdated, before being reborn in recent years, with the help of an aggressive marketing strategy, illustrated, recently, by the appearance of the famous sandals on Barbie's feet in the hit film about the doll eponym. Reinvented as a fashion accessory, Birkenstock has even made a place for itself in the world of luxury by launching collaborations with Dior, Valentino, Céline and Givenchy.
A strategy enshrined in 2021 by the acquisition of a majority share of the company by L Catterton, based in the United States, valuing Birkenstock at around 4 billion euros, according to analysts. The company employs around 6,200 people, according to the document published Tuesday.
Birkenstock claims to produce its shoes in Germany. One of its most important sites is in Görlitz in the east of the country, not far from the Polish border, and a new factory is due to open by the end of the year in northern Germany .