Havaianas Maker Sees ‘Path of Evolution’ After Billion-Dollar Sale

Havaianas Westfield World Trade Center
A wall of rainbow-colored flip-flops in Havaianas' new store.
Courtesy of brand

Following a $1.1 billion-dollar sale this week, Havaianas maker Alpargatas SA is happy to be in new hands.

Márcio Utsch 
CEO of Alpargatas — the Brazil-based firm behind the wildly popular flip-flop brand — said he is hopeful that the company’s new owners will bring the brand new avenues of growth.

The new shareholders are highly recognized by the success in the finance, industry and commerce fields. They will most certainly have much to contribute to Alpargatas, which in over more than 100 years of existence has accumulated great knowledge in products, brands and people management,” Utsch said in an emailed statement to Footwear News today. “I am quite happy and very excited. We are headed to a new level of governance. I see a path of evolution. We will make Alpargatas an even better company in this new journey.”

J&F Investments, the controlling shareholder of Alpargatas SA, said on Wednesday that it sold its stake in Alpargatas to Brazilian investment firms Cambuhy Investimentos Ltda., Itaúsa (Investimentos Itaú SA) and Brasil Warrant Administração de Bens e Empresas SA. The Cambuhy-led group will split J&F Investments’ stake in Alpargatas, according to a securities filing.

The trio — owned by prominent Brazilian banking families — will pay 14.25 reais, or $4.25, for each Alpargatas common share and 11.40 reais, or $3.56, for each preferred share.

Meanwhile, the Batista family — which controls J&F Investments and several other major Brazilian companies — is reportedly planning to use the proceeds from the sale of Alpargatas to pay down debts linked to a political-corruption probe in Brazil. The sale comes just 18 months after J&F Investments bought Alpargatas from then-embattled builder Camargo Correa SA.

Havaianas flip-flops are a staple on beaches as well as on the feet of celebrities such as Jennifer Aniston, Gwen Stefani, Kim Kardashian West and Selena Gomez.

In May, the brand opened a retail location in the high-profile Westfield World Trade Center mall in Lower Manhattan and also teamed with entertainment giant Marvel for a special limited-edition capsule of flip-flops for both kids and adults.