By  on August 5, 2014

MILAN — Italian mass-market retailer OVS SpA late last weekfiled paperwork to be listed on the Milan Stock Exchange to regulatorybody Consob.

The initial public offering of OVS, which would bethe first fashion IPO in Italy since Moncler’s listing in December, isexpected by the end of the year.

Banca IMI, UniCredit, GoldmanSachs International and Bank of America Merrill Lynch will act as globalcoordinators, while Credit Suisse and HSBC Bank will act as joint bookrunners. Banca IMI will also be in charge of the listing and a sponsor.Parent company Gruppo Coin is slated to spin off OVS between August andSeptember as a step toward the IPO.

Gruppo Coin, the largestclothing retailer in Italy, last year reported sales of 1.66 billioneuros, or $2.2 billion at average exchange, up 0.6 percent compared to2012.

OVS has been positioning itself as a trendier fast-fashiondestination, focusing on a more stylish and higher-quality lineup totackle Italy’s lackluster economy and competition from mass-marketpowerhouses such as Zara and H&M. The firm has been streamliningcosts, bringing back to Italy a part of its manufacturing and closelycontrolling its production abroad.

OVS has also bolstered itsdesign team with two new hires, Caterina Salvador and Marco Mazzoran,overseeing women’s and men’s wear, respectively. Both come from luxurybackgrounds and are working to create collections that arefashion-forward and well made, but remain within an affordable pricerange.

OVS has 592 stores in Italy and 133 abroad. In 2013,consolidated sales totaled 1.13 billion euros, or about $1.51 billion atcurrent exchange.

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