Retail and consumers

Permira selects banks for Golden Goose IPO

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Permira has selected Bank of America, JPMorgan and Mediobanca as joint global co-ordinators for the forthcoming market listing of the private equity group’s Italian luxury sports shoe brand Golden Goose.

The banks could be joined by others in leading roles on the deal as Permira prepares to list Golden Goose in Milan as soon as the first half of next year, according to five people with knowledge of the decision.

Golden Goose’s initial public offering, one of the most anticipated in Europe, is expected to value the company at roughly €3bn ($3.3bn), one of the people said. Investment bankers at Lazard are advising Permira on the IPO process, people familiar with the matter said, cautioning that the plans were still subject to change.

The brand, whose shoes sport a “Super-Star” logo and cost about €500 a pair, is a favourite among stars such as Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez. Permira bought the company, which was founded in Venice 23 years ago, in 2020 from rival Carlyle for about €1.3bn.

Golden Goose’s distressed trainers have become a status symbol among aspirational luxury shoppers in the US, according to New York-based luxury brand consultant Robert Burke.

“They resonate with the US shopper because they are a made-in-Italy product and they have this distressed design that sets them apart,” he said, adding that “their existing customer is very loyal”.

Carlyle, which had bought the company in 2017 from Ergon Capital Partners and retains a minority stake, propelled the brand’s expansion into the US and China.

Chief executive Silvio Campara, a former Armani group executive in Asia, was installed in 2018 with a remit of expanding the brand’s sales internationally. Campara, who has worked for Golden Goose for more than a decade, is its second-largest shareholder.

Before becoming CEO he ran the company’s commercial operations and focused on strengthening the brand’s distribution and retail network, which sparked sales growth. The brand has recently expanded into clothing and accessories.

Golden Goose said last week its revenues had risen 16 per cent in the third quarter to €145mn, while adjusted core profit grew 18 per cent over the same period.

This month the brand completed the acquisition of one of its suppliers, Sirio.

The IPO would be the latest by a European footwear brand, following the $8.6bn listing of German sandal maker Birkenstock in October.

The Birkenstock deal and a few other high-profile IPOs launched since summer were touted as potentially heralding a rebound after global listing volumes cratered last year due to falling valuations and rising market volatility.

However, lacklustre share price performance among newly listed companies has dented the hopes of bankers who were expecting it would bring a return to normal activity levels. Activity in the IPO market has slowed again in recent weeks.

Permira, JPMorgan, Bank of America, Mediobanca and Lazard declined to comment.

Additional reporting by Annachiara Biondi in London


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