L Catterton, the private equity firm backed by luxury French fashion house LVMH, is starting to pull ahead in the bidding for iconic German sandal maker Birkenstock, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Birkenstock’s owners are currently focusing on negotiations with L Catterton as they prefer the investment firm’s track record buying and expanding family-backed consumer brands, according to the people. They also see the potential to grow in Asia with L Catterton’s network in the region, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

L Catterton is competing with buyout firm CVC Capital Partners, which had approached Birkenstock earlier, the people said. The German firm’s family owners are seeking a valuation for the company of about 4 billion euros ($4.8 billion) to 4.5 billion euros including debt, the people said. L Catterton is conducting due diligence as it works to finalize its bid, according to the people.

L Catterton was created in 2016 by combining U.S. investment firm Catterton with the private equity operations of LVMH and its billionaire founder Bernard Arnault. The firm now manages more than $22 billion of assets, according to its website. Its investments have included denim producer Pepe Jeans, workout gear brand Sweaty Betty, cosmetics firm Bliss and online retailer Everlane.


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Source: BNN Bloomberg

By Aaron Kirchfeld