PARIS—A bunch of traders led by luxurious titan
has acquired a majority stake in Birkenstock GmbH, valuing the sandal maker at round 4 billion euros, equal to $4.87 billion, in accordance with individuals accustomed to the matter.
The 250-year-old German firm introduced Friday that homeowners Christian and Alex Birkenstock had bought greater than half of the agency to L Catterton, the private-equity agency Mr. Arnault co-owns, and the Arnault household holding firm Financière Agache. That locations Birkenstock within the Arnault household portfolio alongside
the globe-spanning luxurious conglomerate that Mr. Arnault controls.
“We really recognize manufacturers with this lengthy heritage,” Mr. Arnault mentioned.
The funding is an indication of how the style world has come round to a model that it as soon as snubbed because the unglamorous footwear of granola-eating hippies.
Boot maker Johann Adam Birkenstock based the corporate in 1774, however the sandals first arrived within the U.S. within the Nineteen Sixties on the ft of Margot Fraser, a dressmaker who grew up in Germany. Ms. Fraser was turned away from shoe shops as she tried to discover a distributor for Birkenstock. She ultimately ended up promoting the sandals out of a health-food retailer in California.
The sandals grew to become a mainstay of the back-to-nature motion, and within the following many years the Birkenstock went mainstream. The mere sight of vacationers carrying the leather-and-cork sandals with socks used to make fashionistas shudder on the avenues of Paris.
Over the previous decade, nonetheless, the Birkenstock started to garner the style world’s sincerest type of flattery: the homage.
In September 2012, Parisian style home Céline paired modern clothes with cumbersome fur-lined sandals. Dubbed “Furkenstocks,” the sandals got tongues wagging. A British newspaper headlined its protection “Are These the World’s Ugliest Sneakers?”
Different manufacturers jumped on the development. Givenchy, the haute-couture style home owned by LVMH, launched its personal ergonomic foot-bed sandals with two broad buckled straps. Givenchy’s model got here in floral and paisley prints with a price ticket of $995.
“Vogue developments are inclined to roll over us,” Birkenstock Chief Govt Oliver Reichert mentioned in a 2015 interview, recalling how he put his personal kids within the firm catalog.
On Friday, Birkenstock described the deal as a logical step that may enable it to develop its enterprise in markets like China and India. Birkenstock has lately added a line of high-end beds and mattresses in addition to pure cosmetics to its portfolio of merchandise. The German firm employs greater than 4,300 staff world-wide and sells its sandals in additional than 100 nations.
Birkenstock hasn’t revealed its 2020 outcomes, however an individual near the corporate mentioned he anticipated revenues to be roughly in step with the €721.5 million the agency posted for the 2019 fiscal 12 months.
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