L Catterton funds from the French group LVMH and Financière Agache, belonging to the Arnault family, were used to acquire a majority stake in the German sandal manufacturer Birkenstock, which is now a major player.
The German flat sandal manufacturer Birkenstock, entered the world of luxury this Friday. With the L Catterton funds, a company supported by LVMH and the Financière Agache funds, which belong to the billionaire owner of the French group, luxury has taken over this emblematic brand.
The L Catterton fund was founded by the LVMH group in 2016 and is based in the United States. With a particular focus on “accessible luxury“, the investment fund has already acquired Ba&sh, Pepe Jeans, and Jott down jackets.
The interested parties did not wish to communicate information about the amount of this transaction, but several analysts expect the sum of 4 billion euros for the acquisition of Birkenstock, which employs more than 4,300 people worldwide.
“For the next 250 years, we need partners who share the same strategic and long-term vision as the Birkenstock family,” said brothers Christian and Alex Birkenstock in a release. According to the German group, this is “the next logical step to achieve strong growth also in future markets such as China and India“.
The new co-owners “bring both a deep experience of the details of a manufacturing company that is focused on quality and a respect for brands with a long heritage like ours“, said the two brothers, who will retain a stake in the company.
Birkenstock was founded in 1774 to manufacture orthopedic shoes. In 1897, Konrad Birkenstock produced the first soft sole that followed the contours of the feet. Birkenstock sandals, which remained in the family’s hands, received a strong boost when they arrived in the USA in the 1960s.
Adopted by hippies at that time, for their comfort, but also for the symbol they represented, these sandals were then considered “anti-fashion“. It was not until 1990 that top model Kate Moss appropriated them during a photo shoot, and since then, Birkenstock sandals have been spending their summers at the feet of all Hollywood.
Seizing the opportunity, the Birkenstock brand came out with brightly colored sandals with more harmonious patterns and collaborated with big names in luxury such as Paco Rabanne, Valentino, or Céline, who decided to add fur, creating the “Furkenstock“.
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