Last Updated on 06/29/2021 by GS Staff
Q: Can You Buy New Balance Stock?
New Balance is not publicly traded. It is a private company which means that the general public cannot purchase New Balance stock. It does not trade on a stock exchange, have a stock symbol, or a stock price.
Who Owns New Balance?
Since New Balance is private, who actually owns the company?
The company is owned by the chairman of New Balance, James S. Davis. Davis acquired the company in 1972 on the day of the Boston Marathon. However, it had been in business some 66 years before Davis took control. The company started in 1906 by selling flexible arch supports for the feet. Its first sneakers weren’t produced until 1961 which were called the Trackster. They became one of the favorite track and cross-country shoes of schools near Massachusetts and eventually across the country.
New Balance did not become hugely successful until after Davis purchased the business. His timing of acquiring the company was perfect in retrospect because it was the beginning of running becoming a popular activity of many Americans for fitness and hobby purposes. One of the company’s first successful shoes was the 302 which was released in 1976. It was the first New Balance to feature the “N” logo and the popular magazine Runner’s World voted it the best running shoe at the time.
Today, New Balance has estimated sales of over $4 billion annually. While the company is much smaller in comparison to Nike (2020 revenue of $37.4 billion) and Adidas (2020 revenue of $19.8 billion), it still has made James Davis and his family very rich people. Forbes estimates Davis and his family to be worth $6.7 billion.
Will There Ever Be New Balance Stock?
We have no reason to believe that New Balance will file an initial public offering (IPO) to go public in the foreseeable future. The company has given no indication that they plan to go public. However, this does not mean that the company will always remain private. Jim Davis is in his late 70s and we’d suspect that a change in leadership at the top will come sooner rather than later. A change in leadership often brings a new direction for a company, including the potential to bring a company from private to public. Will we one day see a New Balance stock? We shall see.
New Balance Public Competitors
You can research these publicly traded companies for a possible investment if you wish to invest in businesses that manufacture shoes:
- Nike (NYSE:NKE) – This iconic shoe company is behind not only Nike but also Converse and Jordan. It sells products under six categories: running, Jordan brand, training, American football, Nike basketball, and sportswear. The company was launched in 1964 as Blue Ribbon Sports by the co-founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. The Nike brand of shoes first landed on store shelves in 1972 and the company was renamed Nike Inc. in 1978.
- Adidas (OTC:ADDYY) – Adidas is a German footwear manufacturer that has been in business since 1949. The company is Nike’s biggest rival being the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe and number two in the United States behind Nike. Adidas owns Reebok but plans to sell the struggling brand soon to focus solely on the Adidas brand. Reebok is expected to sell for much less than $3.8 billion, the amount Adidas paid to acquire the company in 2006.
- Under Armour (NYSE:UA) – Many people think Under Armour is a subsidiary of Nike, but it is actually a separate publicly traded business. This apparel and footwear company was started in 1996 by Kevin Plank. Its footwear is designed for a variety of purposes such as running, training, basketball, and more. The company is particularly known for its compression apparel that reportedly helps with recovery among other benefits.
- Wolverine World Wide (NYSE: WWW) – The company is the parent behind many popular footwear brands such as Saucony, Sperry, Keds, and Stride Rite. It dates back to 1883 when Fredick Hirth and G.A. Krause bought a leather shop in Grand Rapids, Michigan and eventually went on to manufacture shoes.
- Puma (OTC:PUMSY) – This shoe brand was started by Rudolf Dassler in 1948 after a split from his brother Adolf “Adi” Dassler. Adi went on to form Adidas. Today, it sells its products under the Puma and Cobra Golf brand names. The company is number three in the world for sportswear.
Smith, J. B. in the. (2019, July 25). New Balance: Brand History, Philosophy, and Iconic Products. Heddels. https://www.heddels.com/2019/07/new-balance-brand-history-philosophy-iconic-products/.