MILAN — Cosmetics manufacturing giant Intercos has sold off a 40 percent stake to Equinox Investment, an independent investment company based in Luxembourg.

Intercos chairman Dario Ferrari said the sale was an important one for Intercos’ growth. “Intercos is my baby. I have had it for 30 years and it’s time for me to let that baby grow,” Ferrari said. “We want to go public in the near future and it’s important for us to grow,” he said, adding that the company aims to make a public offering within the next three to four years.

Though Ferrari wouldn’t disclose the selling price, he said 40 percent was the maximum amount of Intercos he will sell, to ensure control of the company remained in the hands of the Ferrari family.

The roots of Intercos’ history are entwined with the Ferrari family. Dario Ferrari founded the company in the Seventies, following in the footsteps of his mother, Nadia Avalle, who founded Arval and is one of the most famous business leaders in Italian cosmetics.

Intercos is a leading supplier of makeup and skin care and is a world-renowned specialist in color. It counts the biggest names in beauty manufacturing among its clients.

In 2002, Intercos reported a turnover of more than $178 million, with five plants in Italy, the U.S. and Malaysia and 1,350 employees in Italy and abroad. It exports most of its products to the US (50 percent) and France (20 percent). All dollar figures have been converted from the euro at current exchange rates.

Equinox Investment operates on the private equity market by acquiring majority and minority stakes in companies with high potential for growth in the industrial and service sectors — with a stock capital of $261.8 million.

The recent sell-off to Equinox Investment comes in light of Ferrari’s determined future plan for Intercos. “I want to double sales in the next three to five years and grow around the world, make acquisitions and invest in China. This is a good deal for the company to give us money for investment,” he said. “I am really enthusiastic about this deal. Intercos has never been so strong,” Ferrari added.

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