Germany's Birkenstock 'plans to step into US stock market'

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Germany's Birkenstock 'plans to step into US stock market'
Birkenstocks with socks, a way they've notoriously been worn by many Germans. Photo: Carl-Olof Zimmerman/TT

The owners of Birkenstock are planning an initial public offering as soon as September that could value the German sandal maker at more than $8 billion, reports said Tuesday.


Private equity firm L Catterton, which is linked to French luxury group LVMH, is looking at listing Birkenstock in the United States, Bloomberg News reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter.

Deliberations are ongoing about the flotation of the maker of wide-strapped sandals with cork and latex soles, and no final decisions have been taken on size or timing, it said.

Birkenstock and L Catterton declined to comment when contacted by AFP about the plans for the IPO, which were also reported in the Financial Times.

The planned listing comes after the company received a Hollywood boost when actress Margot Robbie donned a pair of pink Birkenstocks in the lead role of the hit movie "Barbie".

READ ALSO: It's fantastic: Movie boosts world's top Barbie collection in Düsseldorf

Birkenstock was founded in 1774 to make orthopaedic shoes. By 1897, Konrad Birkenstock had made the first flexible sole fitting the contours of the feet.

The sandals were brought to the United States in the 1960s, where they were adopted by hippies who took to their no-frills comfort but also saw their utilitarian look as an anti-fashion badge.


But their "unfashionable" association with sock-and-sandal wearing Germans is a thing of the past for many people -- they have become standard footwear for celebrities while the company has launched collaborations with top brands.

In 2021, L Catterton and French luxury brand magnate Bernard Arnault's family holding fund acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock, based in Linz am Rhein in western Germany.

Analysts estimated the price of the sale at around 4 billion.

Two Birkenstock family members retain a minority stake.


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