MILAN — Italy’s hottest fashion commodity used to be the initial public offering. But as share prices have slumped, the stock market is losing its appeal — and there’s even talk that some fashion and retail companies could...
MILAN — Italy’s hottest fashion commodity used to be the initial public offering. But as share prices have slumped, the stock market is losing its appeal — and there’s even talk that some fashion and retail companies could delist altogether.
Bulgari, Mariella Burani and department store chain Coin have all denied speculation that they plan to flee the Milan stock exchange, although Burani acknowledged that some investment banks have approached it with a proposal for a management buyout.
The IPO boom of past years has no doubt dried up — just ask Patrizio Bertelli, who this summer pulled the plug on a Prada offering for the third time. A cooldown in consolidation could force investment banks to seek other means of generating commission.
"There are always investment bankers that approach companies with the idea of a delisting," said Centrosim analyst Andrea Paladini. "It’s normal, but these rumors get stronger when the markets aren’t going well."
Taking a company off the stock exchange could also be seen as a defensive move. Stock prices have plunged so far that some firms may fear becoming acquisition targets.
But analysts doubted that many Italian companies would resort to a full-fledged buyout. In most cases, one or more families already have a controlling stake in a company and they could easily and more cheaply boost their stake by buying up shares on the market.
Armando Branchini, vice president of Milan-based consultancy InterCorporate, said it would be illogical for companies to exit the stock market now. If they are pessimistic that things will only get worse, it would make more sense to wait until it would cost even less to buy back the float.
While some companies may be second-guessing the decision to go public, Branchini said he thinks most companies will conclude that the stock market "gives more advantages in the long run."
Analysts said public firms tend to enjoy a higher visibility, as well as better access to fresh capital and potential partnerships.
"For sure, I don’t think companies like Mariella Burani and Bulgari will [delist] in the medium-term," Paladini said.
Francesca Rulli, an analyst with Banca Leonardo in Milan, agreed: "It is more likely that companies will buy back some of their shares on the market or issue extraordinary dividends to support their share prices. Delisting seems improbable."Branchini also noted that a company that chooses to delist is bound to have a tough time regaining investors’ trust for a new IPO down the road.
However, one Italian retailer is already destined to disappear from traders’ stock terminals. In October, the Agnelli family and French supermarket chain Auchan SA announced plans to buy the 41.4 percent of La Rinascente SpA they don’t already own. As a result, the retailer that controls the famed department store next to Milan’s Duomo, as well as a large chain of supermarkets, will be delisted.
But that deal may be more of a strategic move than a flight from a slumping stock price. The Agnellis and Auchansaid the delisting would make it easier for them to form "agreements and financial and industrial alliances."
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)