Birkenstock, the maker of comfortable but decidedly unfashionable sandals, is jumping into bed with the king of luxury goods
Birkenstock on Friday said it will sell a majority stake in its business to L Catteron, a private equity firm backed by LVMH, owner of high-end fashion brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior.
French billionaire and LVMH boss Bernard Arnault is also taking part in the deal, as is his family investment fund Financiere Agache. Terms of the sale weren’t disclosed, but it reportedly values the German family-owned footwear business at $4.85 billion.
While the maker of clunky sandals may not seem an obvious fit for LVMH, the investment comes as the luxe goods maker has been looking to increase its appeal among young people.
The owner of Moet Hennessy this week said it scooped up a 50-percent stake in Jay Z’s Armand de Brignac champagne brand.
And while its put its 2019 deal with Rihanna to create fashion for Fenty on hold “pending better conditions,” L Catterton has taken a stake in the pop singer’s lingerie line.
Birkenstock has a huge built in following that has only grown over the past year, in which it generated record sales, the company said.
The deal is aimed at helping Birkenstock expand into China and India as well as expand its e-commerce business, the company said in a statement.
Relatives of the founding family, brothers Alex and Christian Birkenstock, will remain with the company along with the Birkenstock management, the company said.
“Birkenstock was founded nearly 250 years ago and has grown to become one of the few iconic brands in the footwear industry. We truly appreciate brands with this long heritage,” Arnault said in a statement.
Birkenstock “is a brand that defines a category and is the classic, iconic brand for it,” Richard Kestenbaum, a partner at Triangle Capital told The Post. “That has to be appealing to LVMH and the way they think about brands even it’s not strictly luxury as its generally defined.”