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MILAN — Harmont & Blaine SpA is the latest Italian company to eye an initial public offering, although not before the end of 2016.
The Italian fashion company is seeking a financial partner to help support and accelerate its retail expansion around the world and, to this end, it has given a mandate to the corporate advisory group of UBS. The board of the privately held Harmont & Blaine is asking shareholders to approve a capital increase to allow the Menniti family to maintain control of the company while letting in a new partner. With the help of the latter, the plan is to invest around 100 million euros, or $131.7 million at current exchange, over the next three years and reach sales of around 200 million euros, or $263.5 million, prior to an IPO at the end of 2016.
Harmont & Blaine joins the likes of Lapo Elkann’s Italia Independent, which made its debut on the AIM Italia Alternative Capital Market, a segment of the Italian Stock Exchange for small and medium-size companies, at the end of June, while Moncler is reported to be looking at an IPO as well, possibly by the end of the year.
Harmont & Blaine chief executive officer Domenico Menniti said the goal is to go public because, once revenues have reached 200 million euros, a figure that is considered the “minimum level to be able to compete equally with international players, further important investments will have to take place and the resources will have to be recovered through the listing.” Menniti said that, following the listing, the family could consider a minority stake that would “allow us to control the company.”
Harmont & Blaine is looking at growth in Asia, Continental Europe, North American and Central and South America. In particular, the firm would like to open a branch in the U.S., and flagships in New York and Los Angeles. There are now 64 boutiques in Italy and 70 units in 54 countries around the world, with an established presence in the Middle East, Central America and Mediterranean Europe. The brand is carried in more than 1,500 stores around the world.
Men’s wear is the core business of the label, which is recognizable for its trademark dachshund logo and its stylish preppy looks.
Harmont & Blaine sales last year totaled 60.3 million euros, or $77.2 million at average exchange, up 12.6 percent compared with 2011. Revenues in 2013 are expected to climb 20 percent to more than 70 million euros, or $92.2 million at current exchange.
Last year, the group’s wholesale division accounted for 55 percent of sales.
The company recently opened monobrand boutiques in Mexico City, Yerevan in Armenia and at the Koltsovo Airport in Russia. In the upcoming fall and winter, boutiques in Prague and Moscow and a second store in Miami, at the Merrick Park shopping mall, are expected to be unveiled.
Harmont & Blaine, which is based in Caivano, on the outskirts of Naples, has more than 420 direct employees and more than 1,000 indirect employees.
In June 2009, the first Harmont & Blaine Café opened in Sardinia’s luxury resort Porto Rotondo.