Cole Haan Reportedly Delaying IPO Amid Coronavirus Worries

Cole Haan is reportedly putting on hold its plans for an initial public offering.

According to Reuters, the footwear and accessories maker has delayed its market launch amid the spread of the deadly coronavirus, which has killed 3,000 people and infected 89,000. The report, which cited unnamed sources, added that Cole Haan had sought to begin formal meetings with potential investors today.

The fast-spreading coronavirus spooked investors last week leading to the worst week for stocks since the 2008 financial crisis. Insiders now suggest that Cole Haan might wait until it sees improvement in the market before kicking off its IPO.

Over the course of six days last week, all three major benchmark indexes fell into a correction, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average logging its worst week since the 2008 financial crisis and the S&P 500 losing $3.4 trillion in market value. Today, Wall Street attempted a rebound: The Dow — which swung more than 1,000 points overnight — was up 430 points at 11 a.m. ET, while the S&P grew 40 points and the Nasdaq Composite climbed 112 points.

FN has reached out to Cole Haan for comment.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission dated Feb. 14, the firm announced plans to raise $100 million in an IPO of its common stock. The Greenland, N.H.-based company intends to list on Nasdaq under the ticker “CLHN” and offer all proceeds raised from the offering to its selling stockholders.

Cole Haan had begun the process of filing for an IPO back in August. It comes about seven years after Nike Inc. sold the heritage shoe label to private equity firm Apax Partners LLP for $570 million. (Apax, which also owns specialty retailer Rue21 and luxury platform MatchesFashion.com, is a major investor in the fashion and footwear spaces.)

In the year through June 1, Cole Haan reported revenues that jumped 14% to $686.6 million, while profits surged 43% to $33.1 million. More than 30% of the brand’s total sales come from e-commerce through its website and wholesale partners’ sites.

The lead-up to Cole Haan’s IPO also comes during a period of uncertainty for the footwear industry, which continues to battle with tariffs on Chinese imports — although the levies have been tempered since the height of the trade war last year — as well as broader retail challenges evidenced by high-profile bankruptcies and widespread store closures.

Other fashion enterprises that have launched IPOs in the past couple of years have had mixed results, including online luxury marketplace Farfetch and denim purveyor Levi Strauss. The last major footwear IPOs were Crocs and Heelys, both in 2006.

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