Kirkland, Latham act in Birkenstock $1.5bn US IPO

Kirkland counsels German shoemaker on New York Stock Echange listing as Latham acts for underwriters

Kirkland & Ellis and Latham & Watkins have been called in for Birkenstock’s US initial public offering, which values the German sandal maker at around $8.6bn. 

Kirkland is advising Birkenstock on the offering, while Latham & Watkins is acting for joint underwriters Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley. 

The IPO raised just under $1.5bn based on 32.3 million shares sold at $46 per share. Reuters reported that market volatility led Birkenstock to decide to price the offering conservatively despite having adequate demand to price the share sale at the top of its indicated range of $44 to $49 per share. 

At Kirkland the deal team included New York partners Joshua Korff, Ross Leff and Zoey Hitzert (all capital markets) and Munich partners Anna Schwander (capital markets), Ben Leyendecker (private equity transactions) and Philip Goj (private equity). 

Meantime at Latham a capital markets team led by New York partners Marc Jaffe, Ian Schuman and Adam Gelardi has worked on the deal with associates Matthew DeSilva, Darby Dietrich and Emma Gilmore. Advice was also provided on German capital markets matters by Munich partner Rüdiger Malaun and Frankfurt partners Oliver Seiler and David Rath, with associate Isabel Willius; on tax matters by New York partner Jiyeon Lee-Lim, with associate Farrah Yan; on UK tax matters by London partner Karl Mah, with associate Aoife McCabe; on data privacy matters by Bay Area partner Robert Blamires, with associate Kathryn Parsons-Reponte; on intellectual property matters by New York partner Jeff Tochner, with associate Pelin Serpin; and on German intellectual property matters by Frankfurt partner Susan Kempe-Mueller, with associate Daniela Jaeger.

Birkenstock was founded back in 1774 and only saw its family heirs stand down about a decade ago. L Catterton, the private equity group backed by French billionaire Bernard Arnault and luxury goods conglomerate Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy, bought a majority stake in the company in 2021, a deal that valued it at around $4.3bn and saw Kirkland act for L Catterton. 

The doubling of its valuation for its IPO reflects Birkenstock’s success in recent years, with revenue growing from $770.9m in fiscal 2020 to $1.3bn in fiscal 2022 and net profit in that time rising by more than $90m. 

Following the IPO, L Catterton will hold an 82.8% stake in Birkenstock, according to Reuters. It will also control a majority of the combined voting power of its outstanding shares. 

Birkenstock is due to start trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday (11 October) under the “BIRK” ticker symbol. 

Birkenstock is the fourth major company to launch a US IPO in the past four weeks following Arm Holdings, Klaviyo and Instacart. The US saw just 71 IPOs last year, the smallest number since 2009, according to Renaissance Capital.

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