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Valentino and Furla rumored to be likely to list on the Milan Stock Exchange

by Carlo Festa

Luxury is getting ready to go public. Two of Italy’s best known fashion and accessory brands – Valentino and Furla – are rumored to be likely to list on the Milan Stock Exchange between late 2017 and early 2018.

In particular, the investment banks interested in being part of the consortium of coordinators are reportedly feeling out Valentino’s stockholder, Mayhoola, the investment fund backed by the royals of Qatar. The latter have not yet reached a final decision: the Persian Gulf shareholder does not lack financial resources, yet Valentino’s Qatari owners might be inclined to have the brand go public, so as to raise capital for the Italian fashion house’s further international growth.

At the moment, Mayhoola has apparently given advisor Rothschild a single mandate to inquire into the possibilities of a listing: the timeframe for going public could be between late 2017 and early 2018. In this case, Milan is likely to be the preferred marketplace over other stock exchanges, like Paris and London.

Valentino was acquired by the Doha royals in the summer of 2012 for €720 million, which at the time, had seemed an excessive price tag, considering the 2011 financial year had closed with a turnover of €322.4 million.

Yet the company closed 2015 with a revenue of €1 billion, while EBITDA were €87.5 million; and 2016 is expected to yield slightly better results, in spite of an economic scenario that’s hardly been favorable for the luxury sector.

Plans are along the same lines for Furla. The banker reportedly working on their dossier is Gianni Tamburi: Tamburi Investment Partners reached an agreement with the famous handbag and accessory group, underwriting a loan that will convert into Furla shares upon listing.

In this case, too, the banks are reportedly feeling out shareholders to set up the consortium. Timing is also between late 2017 and early 2018. Furla closed 2016 with a turnover in excess of €400 million and EBITDA of some sixty million, and might be worth around €700 million on the stock exchange.