Premium shoe brand Cole Haan, currently owned by private equity, has confidentially filed an initial public offering, according to a person familiar with the situation who wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.
The timing and size of an offering isn’t known. In August, Bloomberg reported that the company, which Apax Partners acquired from Nike Inc. in 2013, would start the process of going public after it boosted revenue 14 per cent to US$687 million in the fiscal year that ended June 1. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization jumped 56 per cent to US$95.3 million.
“Based on the momentum we have generated in the business, and the opportunities we believe are before Cole Haan, we have determined that now is the time to prepare for an initial public offering of the company’s shares,” Chief Executive Officer Jack Boys said in August.
But Cole Haan will be trying to tap a fickle market, after several recent disappointing IPOs in the consumer space. However, there have been very few shoe brands that attempted to go public in the past several years.
The company can pitch investors on its push outside of dress shoes, and that it sources goods primarily from Vietnam and India, which means it’s largely immune from the U.S. trade war with China. Athletic styles now account for about 19 per cent of Cole Haan footwear sales, up from one per cent in 2015, according to Moody’s Investors Service.