Birkenstock eyes pricing IPO at top of range -sources

By Anirban Sen

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Birkenstock Holding Ltd has secured enough commitments from investors to price its U.S. initial public offering (IPO) at the top of its indicated range and attain a $10 billion valuation, according to people familiar with the matter.

The German premium footwear company will make a final decision on pricing its IPO at the top of its $44-to-$49-per-share range on Tuesday, ahead of its shares debuting in New York on Wednesday, the sources said.

Birkenstock would end up raising $1.58 billion at the top of the range.

The sources cautioned the deliberations are fluid and requested anonymity because the matter is confidential. Birkenstock declined to comment.

Birkenstock is the fourth major company to launch a U.S. IPO in the last four weeks following those of chip maker Arm Holdings Plc, grocery deliver app Instacart and marketing automation platform Klaviyo.

They priced their IPOs at the top or above their indicated range and saw their shares rally at the debut, only to give up most of the gains in the following days. While shares of Arm and Klaviyo still trade above their IPO price, Instacart’s stock is now worth less than its IPO value.

This helps explain why Birkenstock is not inclined to raise its IPO price range despite the strong initial investor demand.

It is already seeking a valuation that is frothier than some bigger shoe brands. It would be worth about 27 times trailing 12-month earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation and amortization at the top of its range, when Nike Inc trades at 21 times.

To leave less to chance, Birkenstock launched the roadshow for its IPO last week with some investors lined up. Financière Agache has indicated an interest in buying $325 million worth of shares while Durable Capital Partners LP and Norges Bank Investment Management have shown interest in $300 million worth of shares, Birkenstock disclosed in a filing.

Birkenstock was founded in 1774 in the German village of Langen-Bergheim by Johannes Birkenstock and his younger brother Johann Adam Birkenstock, who were both shoemakers. The Birkenstock family ran the business for six generations after its founding.

The brand has been seeking to position as a fashionable item worn by models and celebrities. Barbie, played by Margot Robbie, wore a pink pair of Birkenstocks in the final scene of the movie released this summer.

L Catterton, the private equity group backed by French billionaire Bernard Arnault and luxury goods empire Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock in 2021.

After the IPO, L Catterton will hold an 82.8% stake in Birkenstock and control a majority of the combined voting power of its outstanding shares.

(Reporting by Anirban Sen in New York; Editing by Chris Reese)