MILAN — Italian mass-market retailer OVS is expected to debut on the Italian Stock Exchange by the end of the month, pending an official approval from Italy’s regulatory body Consob, which is seen as taking place next week.
A two-week road show and global offer to Italian and international institutional investors and retailers will start after Consob’s approval. “The goal with the public listing is to develop the OVS retail network in Italy and internationally, as the group believes there is still a lot of potential in Italy,” said one market source.
OVS has 641 stores in Italy and 133 abroad, mostly in Europe. Gruppo OVS SpA, which is to be listed, also owns the Upim mass-market store chain, comprising 255 units nationally. The OVS group is controlled by Gruppo Coin, which is owned by private equity firm BC Partners. According to market sources, OVS will float 45 percent of its shares, for about 400 million euros, or $455.6 million at current exchange, following a capital increase of around 350 million euros, or $398.6 million. “Mainly new shares will be on sale,” said a source. “BC Partners is not selling, so Gruppo Coin will decrease its stake in the OVS group to around 60 percent.” The source said equity value will range between 1.3 and 1.6 billion euros, or $1.48 and $1.82 billion.
OVS filed paperwork to be listed in January. The initial public offering of OVS was expected to take place by the end of 2014, but in November, citing market volatility, the group postponed the listing to the first half of 2015.
This would be the first fashion IPO in Italy since Moncler’s listing in December 2013. In October, Italian beauty firm Intercos shelved plans to go public citing deteriorated market conditions.
OVS has been positioning itself as a trendier fast-fashion destination, focusing on a more stylish and higher-quality lineup. The firm has been cutting costs, bringing back to Italy a part of its manufacturing and closely controlling its production abroad.
In 2013, consolidated sales totaled 1.13 billion euros, or about $1.50 billion at average exchange.