Analysis: Birkenstock is now an $8 billion company

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Editor’s Note: A version of this story appeared in CNN Business’ Nightcap newsletter. To get it in your inbox, sign up for free, here.


It’s official: Birkenstock will be making its debut on the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday under the ticker symbol BIRK.

The beloved cork-soled shoemaker announced that it will price its initial public offering at $46 a share — in the middle of the price range it indicated last week. The listing will raise $1.5 billion and make Birkenstock an $8.6 billion company.

Once all shares in the company — including those held by existing investors and shares issued to employees — are taken into account, Birkenstock’s market capitalization rises to $9.3 billion.

The backstory

As Nightcap recently wrote about, Birkenstocks are having something along the lines of a Crocs moment. Both shoe brands experienced a surge of popularity but lost their luster and were demoted to fads. Then decades after their peaks, they made miraculous comebacks.

Now even supermodels wear them.

OK but is Birkenstock really worth $8.6 billion?!

Just like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, how much publicly traded companies are worth is ultimately a function of how much traders think they’re worth.

And yes, it’s pretty wacky when traders rushed to buy a stock like Bed Bath and Beyond when it was hanging by a thread.

But that’s a story for another time… (Spoiler alert: It didn’t last very long.)

For right now, Birkenstock is essentially saying it thinks it is an $8.6 billion company.

But after Birkenstock makes its debut tomorrow regular people like you and me can get in on the action. When people think the price it’s trading at is low relative to what they think the company is worth, they tend to hit the buy button in their brokerage accounts. Or if they think it’s too high relative to what they think it’s worth, they short it.

As masses of traders make those judgment calls in real-time tomorrow, you can expect to see lots of volatility in the stock’s price throughout the day.

But just for funsies…Here’s how Birkenstock stacks up to other publicly traded shoemakers:

  • Nike: $149 billion
  • Deckers Outdoor (the parent company of Ugg, Hoka, Teva and more): $13.29 billion
  • Sketchers: $7.53 billion
  • Crocs: $5.36 billion
  • Steve Madden: $2.44 billion


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