MILAN — While Intercos SpA would not comment on a local published report that it is gearing up for an initial public offering in Milan before the end of the year, a luxury goods analyst who spoke on condition of anonymity said the rumors are true. Established in 1972, Intercos is controlled by its founder and president Dario Ferrari and the Eurazeo private equity firm, which owns a 20 percent stake. With the Rothschild financial group as adviser, Ferrari is expected to sell about one third of his company, which he would still control.

This story first appeared in the April 10, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Intercos sales projections for 2014 are just shy of 400 million euros, or about $552.6 million at current exchange, according to the company, which expects to hit turnover of 500 million euros, or $690.6 million, in 2016. The Italian cosmetics supplier — which manufactures lipstick, eye shadow, mascara, foundation, powder, pencils, nail polish and skin-care products — was prepping for a listing “five or six years ago,” said another Milan-based analyst. However, he said “the IPO did not materialize because there were problems concerning the value of the company. Also, at the time the market was less interested in luxury companies.” The analyst said that Intercos was “already an interesting company at the time,” and now that it has expanded and grown in sales, “it could pull off” a good market price.

Intercos owns 13 plants worldwide, with five in Europe, three in North America, one in South America and four in Asia, and the firm employs more than 3,500 people internationally, with more than 15 percent of its workforce dedicated to cosmetics innovation. The company has significantly boosted its skin-care business in recent years, and is currently in the planning stages of a research and development center in South Korea focused on raw materials and packaging innovation, a category it is keen to expand.

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