Home Money A golden ticket: luxury sector boosted by Milan listing of Italian footwear brand Golden Goose worth £2.5bn

A golden ticket: luxury sector boosted by Milan listing of Italian footwear brand Golden Goose worth £2.5bn

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IPO: Bosses at Golden Goose, whose trainers have been worn by pop star Taylor Swift (pictured), praised a

An Italian sneaker brand sported by pop star Taylor Swift is planning a blockbuster £2.5bn flotation in Milan.

Defying the doom and gloom felt across the luxury sector, Golden Goose bosses hailed a “new chapter” as they target a bumper listing next month.

The market debut follows others that have listed on European stock exchanges this summer, including Puig, owner of Charlotte Tilbury in Madrid.

Shoppers have been enjoying the company’s footwear, which sells for more than £500 in department stores such as Harrods and Selfridges.

Annual sales for 2023 were 18 percent higher than the previous year as its signature sparkly star shoes flew off the shelves.

IPO: Bosses at Golden Goose, whose trainers have been sported by pop star Taylor Swift (pictured), hailed a “new chapter” as it points to a bumper listing next month.

This helped boost profits by 22 per cent to £126.8 million.

Consumers have even been purchasing their range of shoes that look worn out, covered in mud and falling apart.

A pair of “well-worn” trainers has a jaw-dropping price tag of £485.

Co-founded by husbands Alessandro Gallo and Francesca Rinaldo almost 25 years ago, the brand’s fans now include actor Jude Law and model Alessandra Ambrosio, as well as Swift.

The founding couple is not involved in the management of the business and now owns a 13th century Venetian-Byzantine hotel.

“An initial public offering is the natural next step in the success story that began in Venice in 2000,” said CEO Silvio Campara.

“The entrepreneurial spirit, passion and drive of our people have made this company the thriving business it is today.”

He added: “Now we can open a new chapter of our history to an even wider audience.”

Golden Goose aims to raise £100m from the sale of new shares, while its private equity owner Permira plans to sell an unspecified number of shares.

Permira, which is based in London, also owns a stake in boot maker Dr Martens.

Late last year, the private equity firm selected banks to work on the float, which is expected to value Golden Goose at around £2.5bn, including debt.

Permira’s head in Italy, Francesco Pascalizi, said yesterday that the IPO would be a “historic float” in Milan.

He added: “Since our initial investment in 2020, the company has consistently delivered, building on its track record of strong, resilient and profitable growth.”

In recent years, consumers have abandoned high heels and formal footwear in favor of more casual styles.

And after the pandemic, sneakers became work staples for many people returning to the office.

The IPO news came as sandal maker Birkenstock also impressed investors by raising its 2024 sales forecast to around £1.5bn.

Sales of her shoes increased after they appeared in last summer’s hit movie Barbie.

But elsewhere in the luxury world, big brands have struggled to retain wealthy buyers amid high interest rates.

Powerhouses like Gucci, LVMH and Britain’s own Burberry have endured a torrid year so far.

The economic problems in China and the United States, which are two of the largest markets for high-end products, have weighed heavily on the sector.

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Jobs up for grabs at Dr Martens

Boot maker Dr Martens, another Permira investment, continues to struggle.

The company, known for its black boots with yellow stitching, refused to rule out job cuts after revealing plans to cut costs worth up to £25 million.

It recorded a sharp 43 per cent drop in profits in the 12 months to March. Pre-tax profit rose to £97m, while revenue fell 12 per cent to £877m.

While sales of sandals and shoes rose by a fifth, sales of boots (two-thirds of profits) sank, driven by poor trade in the United States.

A pair of Dr Martens’ classic 1460 boots now costs £170, according to their website.

Chief executive Kenny Wilson, who will be replaced by brand director Ije Nwokorie next March, said he needed to make boots fashionable again.

While the shoes and sandals have gained popularity, the brand’s boots, favored by celebrities like Alexa Chung, have fallen out of fashion.

Wilson said: “The fashion press has talked about this: there has been a movement towards shoes.”

The Dr Martens float was received with enthusiasm in 2021, but has since fallen on miserable times: it has lost 81% of its value.

It has even been speculated that it is vulnerable. Dan Coatsworth, investment analyst at AJ Bell, said it “looks like a ripe acquisition target.” Permira, which still owns 38.46 per cent, could be persuaded to support “a decent bid premium from an opportunistic bidder”, he added.

Asked if Dr Martens could exit its London listings, Wilson said: “My focus is on managing the business and how to improve performance in the United States.” “If we had something to reveal, we would have done so.”

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