Birkenstock prices US IPO at $46 per share

By Anirban Sen and Echo Wang

NEW YORK (Reuters) -German premium footwear maker Birkenstock Holding priced its U.S. initial public offering (IPO) at the middle of its indicated price range at $46 per share, the company said on Tuesday.

Birkenstock and its underwriters chose to price the offering conservatively given the market volatility, despite having enough demand to price the share sale at the top of the indicated range of $44 to $49 per share, according to people familiar with the matter.

The IPO raised about $1.48 billion based on 32.3 million shares sold and values the company at about $9.3 billion on a fully diluted basis.

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

The slew of recent listings briefly raised hopes of a broad recovery in equity capital markets after a nearly 18-month dry spell. However, the three newly listed companies gave up most of their share price gains in the days following their IPOs, raising concerns over the near-term outlook for new stock market launches.

While shares of Arm and Klaviyo still trade above their IPO price, Instacart’s stock is now worth less than its IPO value.

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 itself 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.

Birkenstock’s shares will start trading on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “BIRK”.

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley are the lead underwriters for the IPO.

(Reporting by Anirban Sen and Echo Wang; additional reporting by Dimpal Gulwani; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)