Birkenstock GmbH & Co. KG, the manufacturer of the sandals of the same name, could get a new owner. The private equity specialist CVC Capital Partners is in talks with the owner family, reports familiar with the matter.
Talks with the owners of the brand, which is almost 250 years old, said the people involved, who did not want to be named, said. The transaction could value Birkenstock at over 4 billion euros including debt.
The company, based in Linz am Rhein, Germany, can be traced back to 1774, when the shoemaker Johann Adam Birkenstock was first mentioned in Langen-Bergheim in Hesse. The proverbial sandals came onto the market in the 1960s and for decades were considered “health shoes”, typical for hippies, nurses or environmentalists. Recently, they have increasingly found their way to the feet of celebrities like Heidi Klum and Kate Moss and found their way onto the catwalks .
23.8 million pairs of shoes
Should CVC win the bid, Birkenstock would get the same owner as the Swiss pilot watch maker Breitling SA, which the investor took over in 2017. The perfumery chain Douglas GmbH, which also belongs to CVC, is meanwhile struggling with its mountain of debt in the face of the corona crisis and online competition.
A final decision to sell Birkenstock has not yet been made and is not guaranteed, it was said in the circles. A CVC spokesman declined to comment, while Birkenstock did not immediately respond to requests.
Birkenstock sold 23.8 million pairs of shoes in the financial year up to September 2019 and achieved an increase in sales of eleven percent to 721.5 million euros. The net profit in this period was 129 million euros, 40 percent more than a year earlier.