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Birkenstock Files for IPO


Birkenstock, whose brand is synonymous with its footbed and its long German heritage dating back to 1774, filed for a public offering on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday. Private equity firm L. Catterton, backed by LVMH, purchased a majority stake in the longtime family-owned company in 2021 in a deal valued at €4 billion ($4.29 billion). After the IPO is completed, expected sometime in October, the private equity firm will continue to have a majority stake in the company.

The pricing and number of Birkenstock shares being floated are expected to be disclosed in the coming weeks. But the F-1 filing by the company, headed by CEO Oliver Reichert, does offer some insight on Birkenstock’s business and recent financial results.

Since 2014 and Reichert’s start with the company, Birkenstock has grown annual revenues from 292 million euros to 1,243 million euros ($1.33 billion) in FY22. Closed toe styles represented 20 percent of FY22 sales, up from 15 percent a year earlier. The company achieved a two-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 31 percent between FY20 and FY22 as its average selling price (ASP) expanded 16 percent and Direct-to-Consumer penetration jumped to 38 percent of FY22 revenues from 30 percent in FY20.

In FY22 ended Sept. 30, 2022, Birkenstock had 6,000 wholesale partners in over 75 countries, ranging from orthopedic specialists to major department stores and fashion boutiques. As of June 30, 2022, strategic partners operated 270 mono-branded Birkenstock doors. The company also has a network of 45 owned retail stores, including 20 in its home market. There is strategy in place to open new location in markets such as Soho and Brooklyn in New York City, Venice Beach in So. California, Tokyo, London, and Delhi.

Geographically, the brand generated 54 percent of annual revenues in the Americas in FY22, followed by 36 percent of sales from European markets. Third-party distribution was reduced to 14 percent of all revenues in FY22 from 32 percent in FY18 as the company continue take back the effort in key markets such as the U.K., France, Canada, and Japan.

For the six months ended March 31, Birkenstock’s operating profit fell 24 percent in euros to the equivalent of $126.2 million, a factor that the company blamed on higher operating expenses. Six-month revenues, meanwhile, were 19 percent higher in euros to the equivalent of $691.3 million.