MILAN — Giorgio Armani’s passion for luxury yachts has the designer reaching into his pocket.
After teaming up with The Italian Sea Group yacht maker for the design of a one-of-a-kind motor yacht, the designer’s namesake company is ready to take the partnership a step further.
The yachting specialist, which operates the Admiral and Tecnomar brands, focused on the production of yachts and high-tech motorboats, respectively, is preparing for an initial public offering on the Milan Stock Exchange.
As part of the process — which is subject to the approval of the Milan Bourse and the regulatory body Consob — The Italian Sea Group will take new shares issued through a capital increase of 50 million euros to the public market. The number of shares to be offered, and the price range, have not been determined.
Giorgio Armani SpA pledged to invest in the company, acquiring a still undisclosed number of shares. However, along with another cornerstone investor, Alychlo NV, the investment vehicle of Belgian entrepreneur Marc Coucke’s family, the two companies are poised to acquire a 15 percent stake in The Italian Sea Group.
The company’s chief executive officer Giovanni Costantino will remain the majority shareholder through his GC Holding SpA.
In March, Armani revealed it was designing a 236-foot Admiral motor yacht, which is set to debut in 2024, marking the first time the fashion house has become involved in such a project, although the designer did oversee the furnishing and design of his two personal yachts, Mariù and Maìn.
The IPO and related capital increase are to enable the yacht maker to spearhead its growth strategy which encompasses the consolidation of its market position in the luxury yacht sector by focusing on the production of yachts over 328 feet; by joining forces with renowned luxury brands and architects, as well as by strengthening its production capability through the acquisition of new shipyards.
In 2020, The Italian Sea Group posted revenues of 116.4 million euros, up 16.1 percent compared to 2019. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization totaled 14.5 million euros, up 49.8 percent compared to the previous year.
While Armani has long voiced skepticism toward a public listing of his namesake company, he has dipped his toes into the Bourse before through his long-held stake in Luxottica.