MILAN — Brunello Cucinelli SpA has started the process to list on the Italian Stock Exchange.
“The Bourse is an important step for growth, in line with our entrepreneurial philosophy,” said Brunello Cucinelli, founder of the namesake Italian luxury fashion house. The listing could take place by May or June, in light of the time frame necessary to receive approval. Mediobanca has been tapped as the sponsor and as joint global coordinator along with BofA Merrill Lynch. Cucinelli first revealed he was considering an initial public offering in May.
“My goal is to become even more international and attract managers, even those who think differently from me,” Cucinelli told WWD. “The company is 34 years old and my dream is for it to last at least another 34 years. We are based in a small town [Solomeo], which I hope will continue to work in luxury.”
A source with knowledge of the matter said Cucinelli plans to sell a third of his company on the market.
A luxury goods analyst estimated an enterprise value of “at least” 400 million euros, or $526.2 million at current exchange, 12 times the company’s estimated 2011 earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about 35 million euros, or $46 million. “They will leverage on the company’s growth potential and benefit from the enormous echo provided by the listing,” said the analyst.
“I can’t say that I am not influenced by the market’s performance, but I hope that enterprise and finance will return to coexist fully respecting each other’s role,” said Cucinelli. Of the timing for the listing, he said he was “very confident things are improving, and there are great opportunities for companies in the world.”
Cucinelli, who is 58 and has two daughters, aged 20 and 29, said “ownership is inherited, but not the management of a company. If they will be able to manage it, they will; if not, there will be someone who can do it,” he said.
Stefano Corneliani, senior analyst at Intermonte SIM, said this is “an epochal turn for a group of this size, and the listing will have reverberations internationally.” He said the IPO marks the entrepreneur’s “understanding that his group has arrived at a turning point, beyond which the company needs a more structured management and organization, to partly release the company from family dynamics.”
In the 2011 fiscal year, the firm’s net profit is expected to reach about 30 million euros, or $41.7 million at average exchange, up 60 percent compared with 2010. Revenues are calculated to reach about 240 million euros, or $333.6 million, up 18.5 percent compared with the previous year. The company has registered 50 percent growth over the past two years.
“This is an excellent decision, which will help the company gain further notoriety, add to its image and be beneficial to the firm,” said a Milan-based luxury good analyst, who requested anonymity. “It also helps reinvigorate interest in the luxury goods sector and add luster to the Milan Bourse, also given Benetton’s steps toward the delisting.” As reported, the Benetton family plans to take the Italian and textile clothing manufacturer private.
A London-based analyst said “the appetite for luxury is very high and this IPO shows that Cucinelli is upbeat about the outlook.” The analyst praised the entrepreneur’s decision to list in Italy, “where the company’s heritage lies.” Cucinelli has always said he was planning to go public in Milan as he feels “very, very connected to Italy and my territory, Umbria and my country.”
Cucinelli, who describes himself as the “custodian” of his company, said he hoped the stock market would help the brand “grow in a healthy, gentle and sustainable way.” He continued: “We are ready to open the doors of the small town of Solomeo to investors and partners that will want somehow to feel as the new custodians for the next decades, in the respect of the human being and his moral and economic dignity.”
Cucinelli stands out against an industry racing at breakneck speed. He is a humanist and a philosopher, who has lectured on humanism in business at Harvard, and in 2010 received an honorary degree in ethics and philosophy from the University of Perugia. Rather than speaking of new media or financial analysis, he talks about “bringing back moral and economic dignity to work.” He has written a book called “Riflessioni” — the title translates as “Considerations” — in which he imagines a dialogue between the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius and President Obama. He describes his employees as “beautiful souls.”
But the soft-spoken Cucinelli also has built a strong business reputation over the course of three decades. His brand, known for its rich cashmere sweaters, luxe sportswear and elegantly laid-back tailored clothing, has weathered the economic downturns of recent years and expanded globally. A listing would help provide the funds to further penetrate new and emerging markets.
The company today has more than 700 employees, 59 boutiques in 50 countries and 1,000 points of sale.
Cucinelli bought a 14th-century castle and surroundings in Solomeo, in Italy’s central region of Umbria, in 1985 and restored it over the next 23 years to provide an environment for the company’s workers. In 2008, he unveiled a new theater complex, followed two years ago by a library.
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye
Did you know: @carlychaikin of "Mr. Robot" has been painting for about a decade? The actress, who plays Darlene on the show, is a self-taught artist who lists Salvador Dalí and Chuck Close as some of her idols. Chaikin told WWD that painting is a form of meditation for her — A much-needed one given the intensity of "Mr. Robot." See a piece Chaikin is working on at WWD.com (📷: @jilliansollazzo) #wwdeye