This Week, Puig Tries to Break the IPO Curse; Adidas Takes a Victory Lap


This week, we might get that rarest of things: a successful initial public offering.

Puig, the Spanish, family-owned conglomerate that counts Charlotte Tilbury, Paco Rabanne, Byredo and other brands in its portfolio, is scheduled to go public in Spain on May 3. The company is angling to raise €2.6 billion ($2.8 billion) at a €13.9 billion valuation, Bloomberg reports. While anything can happen, most signs point to the Puig family, which will retain a controlling stake, getting what they want.

Fashion and beauty don’t have a great track record when it comes to IPOs lately. Birkenstock and Amer Sports had bumpy receptions in the market despite owning red-hot brands. The consensus forming around Puig is that it may fare better than either of those companies. As The Business of Beauty executive editor Priya Rao recently laid out, the conglomerate’s focus on prestige beauty, its diversification and a sterling track record of acquisitions all bode well for a warm reception from investors. A demonstrated willingness to give non-family executives wide latitude to direct the business is also likely a factor.

The biggest question facing Puig is whether it’s large enough to compete with the big conglomerates that dominate luxury fashion and beauty. A $15 billion market capitalisation only sounds big until you consider that L’Oreal is nearly 17 times bigger. Having an extra €2.6 billion to spend on acquisitions and further scaling its brands will go a long way towards closing that gap.

A Victory Lap for Adidas

With luxury earnings mostly out of the way, we’re in a bit of a lull before the mass market brands have their turn. The big report this week is from Adidas, which has rebounded from lost cause to industry darling in record time.

There isn’t much suspense around the quarterly numbers, as Adidas said earlier this month that first-quarter sales and profits came in above forecast. The two biggest factors in its rapid turnaround are successfully disposing of most of its remaining Yeezy inventory and, more importantly, turning Sambas into the “it” sneaker of the moment. In doing so Adidas has borrowed a page from Nike’s playbook, and will no doubt pump out endless new twists on classic styles. Nike’s seen diminishing returns with this strategy, but the retro journey has just begun for Sambas and Gazelles. Now the brand just needs a court order barring conservative UK politicians from wearing them.

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