German footwear manufacturer Birkenstock has filed for an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol BIRK, in a move that signals the growing appeal of U.S. equity markets for European firms. The IPO could potentially value the company at over $8 billion, according to reports. The offering is being led by Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE: GS )., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM ), and Morgan Stanley.
The IPO comes more than two years after private equity firm L Catterton and the family investment company of billionaire Bernard Arnault acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock, valuing it at about €4 billion ($4.3 billion). This listing marks a significant milestone for the company, whose family heirs withdrew from management duties about a decade ago. Since then, Birkenstock has streamlined its strategy, launched high-profile collaborations, and seen a surge in demand.
Birkenstock's revenue rose by 29% to approximately €1.2 billion last year, leading to adjusted earnings of €394 million. Sales have been boosted recently by the popular Barbie movie, in which star Margot Robbie wears a pair of pink Birkenstocks in one scene. In addition to this, the company has been investing heavily in expanding its production sites in Germany, including a new €120 million factory in Pasewalk, a town north of Berlin.
Founded nearly 250 years ago, Birkenstock has transformed into a high-fashion brand, collaborating with luxury names such as Dior, Manolo Blahnik, and Valentino. Its sandals have been sold in the U.S. since 1966.
The company's decision to go public is described as "a logical step that began with the stepping back of the family from the operational business," according to Chief Executive Oliver Reichert. He added that this move marks "a new important milestone with our plan to go public, inviting a broader group of investors to join our undertaking."
In fiscal 2022, Birkenstock reported revenue of €1.24 billion ($1.33 billion), a gross profit margin of 60%, and an adjusted gross profit margin of 62%, on a net profit of €187.1 million. The company sold approximately 30 million shoes during this period.
The filing for the IPO does not yet disclose the number of shares the company intends to sell or a price range. The proposed terms of the share sale will be disclosed in a later filing.
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