Notebook firm pens plans for Milan float

City A.M. Reporter
ITALIAN notebook maker Moleskine plans to list in Milan this year and has hired investment banks to run the sale of stock in the company, whose thread-bound jotters are based on originals favoured by the likes of Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway.

Goldman Sachs, Mediobanca and UBS will run the offering for majority-owner Syntegra Capital, aiming to add to the list of upmarket brands which have lured investors in defiance of generally tough stock market conditions.

Private equity firm Syntegra plans to file listing documents for Moleskine, in which it owns a 68 per cent stake, in early September and is aiming for a market debut in the fourth quarter, said Marco Ariello, a partner at Syntegra.

“An IPO is the right thing for the future of the company,” Ariello said yesterday.

While a string of flotations worldwide have been blown off course by choppy markets, with German chemical company Evonik the latest casualty, high-end brands have fared better with investor demand boosted by the industry performing well despite global economic uncertainty.

In April, Italian cashmere house Brunello Cucinelli and high-end luggage maker Tumi Holdings both saw their stock surge on their debuts in Milan and New York respectively.

Moleskine, a company which was created in 1997 to revive the style of notebook favoured by artists and writers in the 19th and 20th Centuries, has seen growth of around 25 per cent a year since Syntegra bought a 75 per cent stake for around €60m (£48.1m) in 2006.