One of Germany’s best known footwear brands, Birkenstock, is selling a majority stake to the American-French private equity firm L Catterton and an affiliated firm, Financière Agache, Bernard Arnault’s family investment company.
Financial terms were not disclosed. WWD had reported Feb. 8 that Birkenstock was in exclusive talks with L Catterton.
The two remaining relatives of the founder of the company, Christian and Alex Birkenstock, said they entered “this strategic partnership after carefully examining all options.”
They said the sale would “further strong growth in future growth markets such as China and India” and the new partners would invest in German sites and expand production, logistics and sales operations. “At the same time the company plans to invest in the further development of its direct-to-consumer business and the expansion of its e-commerce platforms,” Birkenstock said in a statement.
L Catterton is a partnership between the original U.S. investment firm Catterton and Arnault’s LVMH and Groupe Arnault. It describes itself as “the largest, diversified consumer-dedicated private equity firm in the world”.
The Birkenstock brothers, who will stay on with the company and hold a minority share, praised their new business partners for “a deep understanding of the details of a manufacturing business that is all about quality and a respect for brands with a long heritage like ours.”
“We truly appreciate brands with this long heritage,” Arnault said in a statement. “Together we will provide support to the business so it can fully realize its significant growth potential.”
Birkenstock reported revenues of 720 million euros in 2019.
In Fridays statement, Birkenstock said it is “performing better than ever before in its 250-year history and reported “another record year” despite the coronavirus pandemic.
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