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Expanding Pomellato Hints at IPO

The Italian jewelry firm is eyeing brand extensions with watches and a fragrance and is evaluating a public listing.

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MILAN — Italian jewelry firm Pomellato is eyeing brand extensions with watches and a fragrance, has plans to further develop the Asian and American markets and is evaluating a public listing. “We are thinking about it, it’s one of the possible hypotheses for Pomellato,” said chief executive officer Andrea Morante during the first “Luxury and Finance 2012” meeting at the Milan Stock Exchange on Thursday.

During the event, which, among its goals, aims to draw companies to consider an initial public offering, Pomellato and Brunello Cucinelli presented their brands to the international financial community. Meetings with management from Luxottica, Marcolin, Poltrona Frau, Salvatore Ferragamo, Tod’s and Yoox were also held but not open to the press.

Morante, a high-profile entrepreneur-cum-investment banker, has been eyeing a listing for some time, and was asked on the sidelines of the presentation if the venue marked a deeper interest in the Bourse. Morante did not set anything in stone, but said he was intrigued by the successful Brunello Cucinelli IPO earlier this year. “We share a similar dimension and a luxury product, so it is a reference point for us,” said Morante, who added he was planning to compare notes with Cucinelli.

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Responding to questions about a possible takeover by a conglomerate such as PPR, frequently rumored to be interested in Pomellato, Morante said it is “normal” as the number of global and independent jewelry brands in the range of Pomellato is not large. However, Morante said the Rabolini family, which owns the brand, is not looking to sell. “Of course, it’s up to the founder [Pino Rabolini], but [the owners] are happy to be independent,” said Morante. In fact, the executive said Pomellato has expressed interest in buying the 18 percent of shares owned by the Damiani family, which last year assigned Mediobanca a mandate to explore offers. “But we never reached an agreement,” he explained.

Pomellato is expected to close 2012 with sales of 151 million euros, or $194.4 million at current exchange, up 9.7 percent compared with last year, and up 50 percent from 2009. Gross profit is forecast to reach 14.2 million euros, or $18.3 million, up from 13.5 million euros, or $18.7 million at average exchange, in 2011 and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, are expected to total 22.5 million euros, or $29 million, compared with 20.1 million euros, or $28 million, last year.

The company has been investing in retail, doubling the number of stores over three years, which are expected to total 87 by December. Exports in 2012 are slated to account for almost 57 percent of sales. Sales in the U.S. in 2012 are expected to account for 12.1 percent of total revenues compared with 6 percent three years ago.

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