German Shoe Maker Birkenstock Taken Over By LVMH-Backed Group

The French family behind Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior is to take control of the German sandal maker Birkenstock in a deal thought to be worth €4 billion (US$4.83 billion), reported The Guardian.

Financière Agache, the family investment firm of Bernard Arnault, the French billionaire who controls the designer brand conglomerate LVMH, and L Catterton, a private equity firm part-owned by LVMH, has bought a majority stake in the family-owned footwear brand. The value of the deal has yet to be confirmed.

Arnault fought off a competing bid from the private equity group CVC Capital Partners, which owns dozens of companies including Moto motorway services and the luxury watchmaker Breitling.

Birkenstock stated the investment would help it expand in China and India, and fund the development of its website and the expansion of its main German factory in Görlitz.

Founded in 1774 in Langen-Bergheim by Johann Adam Birkenstock, a cobbler, the company set up its first factory in 1925. It will remain partly owned by the descendants of its founder – the brothers Alex and Christian Birkenstock – who will continue to oversee production of its footwear in Germany.

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