Germany’s Birkenstock selling majority stake to investors

BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s Birkenstock, known for its upmarket sandals, said Friday it is selling a majority stake to private equity firm L Catteron and affiliates including Financière Agache, the family investment company of French billionaire Bernard Arnault.

Birkenstock didn’t disclose the price or further details of the agreement, citing confidentiality agreements between the Birkenstock Group and the other parties. It said the Birkenstock brothers will retain a stake and the transaction is “subject to the usual antitrust audits.”

Birkenstock, which dates its origins back to 1774 and manufactures its products at several sites in Germany, has about 3,000 employees.

The family-owned company said that bringing in new shareholders “is the next logical step for Birkenstock to facilitate further strong growth in future growth markets such as China and India.”

The company said it plans to invest in further developing its direct-to-consumer business and expanding its e-commerce platforms.

CEO Oliver Reichert said that “we enter this partnership with both our traditions as a family business and a commitment to our roots and our employees front-and-center.”

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