Germany’s Birkenstock targets over $9 billion valuation in US IPO

By Manya Saini

(Reuters) -Birkenstock, the German premium footwear brand backed by private-equity firm L Catterton, said on Monday it is seeking a valuation of up to $9.2 billion in its highly anticipated U.S. initial public offering (IPO).

The company and its stockholders are expecting to sell at least 32 million shares, likely to be priced between $44 and $49 apiece, and potentially raise about $1.58 billion at the top-end of the range, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The IPO market is seeing a slow revival in activity after being on ice for a couple of years, but the post-debut performances of companies that have listed so far this year including Instacart and Arm have been mixed.

The market is also expected to see more action in the coming days as the U.S. securities regulator is well-staffed now that a government shutdown has been averted, allowing it to review more IPO filings.

“Investor sentiment is still highly sensitive, particularly given the realisation that high interest rates are set to linger. So, despite the heady ambitions, Birkenstock may still end up listing at a mid or lower price in the range, regardless of all the publicity,” said Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets, Hargreaves Lansdown.

Birkenstock has decided to list its shares on the New York Stock Exchange, under the ticker symbol ‘BIRK’.

Financière Agache, controlled by Europe’s Arnault family that owns LVMH, has indicated an interest in buying $325 million of ordinary shares in the offering, Birkenstock said.

One or more funds managed by Durable Capital Partners LP and Norges Bank Investment Management have separately indicated an interest in buying shares together worth $300 million.

Birkenstock’s trademark typically has been comfort rather than fashion. But it has also found favor among fashion aficionados, reportedly more so in recent weeks after one of its brands was featured in “Barbie” blockbuster where the movie’s lead actress Margot Robbie was seen donning a pair of pink Birkenstock.

The company, which traces its roots back to 1774, is a sixth-generation family-owned business.

Last month, the company said its revenue jumped 21% in the nine-month period ended June 30, showing strength against a difficult demand environment for luxury goods as inflation-weary consumers temper their spending.

Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are among the underwriters for the IPO.

(Reporting by Niket Nishant and Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)