By  on March 19, 2012

MILAN — Another Italian fashion company is eyeing a public listing.

Pianoforte Holding, which controls innerwear and beachwear brand Yamamay, accessories label Carpisa and high-tech swimsuit brand Jaked, is taking steps toward an initial public offering — although it will not be as imminent as Brunello Cucinelli’s expected arrival on the Milan Bourse in the spring.

Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo SpA has taken a 10 percent stake in Pianoforte through a capital increase of 40 million euros, or $52.6 million at current exchange, to fuel the firm’s expansion. The operation “is aimed at forging a path of further growth, especially at an international level, of the Yamamay, Carpisa and Jaked brands, with the objective of creating in the medium period the conditions for a listing,” said Intesa Sanpaolo. The capital increase will help strengthen Pianoforte and leverage on the group’s synergies and the potential of its brands.

Luciano Cimmino, president of Pianoforte, said that Intesa’s investment in the group will help continue the development and the consolidation of the Yamamay, Carpisa and Jaked brands outside of Italy, “an ambitious project that requires significant financial and professional resources. I believe we are moving in the right direction.”

Gaetano Miccichè, general director and in charge of the corporate division and investment banking of Intesa Sanpaolo, said the 10 percent stake is a “fundamental step in the internationalization” of the bank, and that it will allow Pianoforte “to reach the goals it has set.” Intesa was also a major Prada shareholder, and sold 102.25 million shares of the luxury firm, representing about 4 percent of its capital, upon its listing in Hong Kong last year, retaining 25.6 million shares.

In 2011, Pianoforte posted sales of 280 million euros, or $389.2 million, up from 259 million euros, or $341.8 million, in 2010. Dollar amounts have been converted at average exchange for the periods to which they refer. In 2012, the group expects to reach revenues of 330 million euros, or $434.6 million at current exchange.

The Cimmino and Carlino families control Pianoforte (Maurizio and Raffaele Carlino founded the Carpisa brand). Yamamay is based in Gallarate, a 30-minute drive from Milan, and Carpisa is based in Nola, near Naples.

Yamamay also includes footwear and beauty lines, and the company launched a bridal innerwear collection this month.

In 2007, Yamamay signed a three-year licensing contract with Jennifer Lopez to produce the JLO for Yamamay line, which the actress publicized by posing for its ad images. In 2008 the brand tapped Elettra Rossellini Wiedemann to pose for the winter collection in the company’s European advertising campaign.

Cimmino described the positioning of the brands as “neither low cost nor accessible luxury, but in-between,” and they are generally seen as fast-fashion labels, produced outside Italy.

There are 550 Carpisa and 620 Yamamay stores in Italy and 120 units in Europe.

The brands celebrated their 10th anniversary last year.

Italy’s national Olympic swim team will don Jaked swimsuits in London this summer.

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