published : 2023-10-12

LVMH Loves Birkenstock as IPO Kicks Off

Birkenstock indicated it would go public last month

A close-up photo of Birkenstock sandals, showcasing their unique design and craftsmanship. (Taken with a Canon EOS R)

Birkenstock shares debuted on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday as part of the initial public offering (IPO) previously announced by the German sandal maker with ties to luxury goods company LVMH and its founder.

The stock opened at $41 per share, below the $46 offer price determined Tuesday. Its IPO will include some 32.2 million ordinary shares.

The company first officially disclosed its IPO plans back in mid-September when it submitted a preliminary prospectus with the Securities and Exchange Commission. It will use 'BIRK' as the ticker for its stock.

Birkenstock has called L Catterton its majority owner for over two years. Catterton, LVMH and LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault’s company Groupe Arnault formed the private equity firm in 2016, per its website.

Acquiring that majority stake cost $4.8 million, the Wall Street Journal reported.

A group of businesspeople on Wall Street, symbolizing the excitement and anticipation surrounding Birkenstock's IPO. (Taken with a Nikon Z7)

In its prospectus, Birkenstock had said L Catterton-affiliated entities would 'control a majority of the combined voting power of our outstanding ordinary shares' post-IPO.

The Journal reported ahead of Birkenstock’s planned IPO that the sandal maker might see an increase in ownership from Arnault, who apparently expressed a desire to potentially do so. LVMH has not provided any official comment on this matter.

Arnault has a personal fortune of $191.3 billion, with only Tesla CEO Elon Musk having a net worth bigger than him, according to Forbes.

In an SEC filing last week, Birkenstock said Financiere Agache 'has indicated an interest in purchasing up to an aggregate of $325 million of ordinary shares in this offering at the initial public offering price.' The firm, described by L Catterton as Arnault’s family investment company, has a pre-existing indirect stake, according to the filing.

Birkenstock also indicated Alexandre Arnault has received a nomination to serve on the board and is expected to do so post-IPO. He is one of LVMH CEO’s five children and holds the title of executive vice president of products and communications at Tiffany & Co.

Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, attending a fashion event, expressing his influence in the luxury goods industry. (Taken with a Sony A7 III)

Two other individuals are expected to become directors along with him, according to the filing.

Earlier in October, prior to reportedly picking its IPO pricing, Birkenstock had said it was looking at a $44-$49 range for its stock.

LVMH counts Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Tag Heuer, Bulgari, and Tiffany & Co. among its numerous brands.

Birkenstock has worked with Dior, including in 2022 when its Tokio and Milano shoes got a high-fashion revamp for a runway show. It has teamed up with Valentino and other fashion companies previously too.

It has said its various popular shoe styles are 'for everyone,' reporting they can 'be found in surgical wards and on fashion runways, in law firms and in schools — and everywhere in between.'