Moleskine Kicks Off Share Listing

Italy’s Moleskine has begun marketing a planned initial public offering to potential investors, sources told Reuters on Monday, while the notebook maker said it had filed a request to list in Milan. The maker of thread-bound jotters based on originals favoured by Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway plans to list a 50-percent stake, made up of new and existing shares, two sources told Reuters. Moleskine could be valued at about 600 million euros ($781 million) based on a multiple of 15 times its forecast 2013 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, one Milan-based analyst said.

(Reuters) – Italy’s Moleskine has begun marketing a planned initial public offering (IPO) to potential investors, sources told Reuters on Monday, while the notebook maker said it had filed a request to list in Milan.

The maker of thread-bound jotters based on originals favoured by Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway plans to list a 50-percent stake, made up of new and existing shares, two sources told Reuters.

Moleskine could be valued at about 600 million euros ($781 million) based on a multiple of 15 times its forecast 2013 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA), one Milan-based analyst said.

Listed Italian luxury goods companies were trading at 14.5 times forecast 2012 core earnings, Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts said in a report in January.

Moleskine on Monday posted an adjusted 2012 EBITDA of 33.5 million euros, which would indicate a possible valuation of almost 500 million euros. It said its revenues rose 17.1 percent to 78 million euros ($101 million).

Moleskine said that it had filed a request to list shares on the Milan market. The bourse, which gave a preliminary green light last year, still has to give its final clearance.

The company is expected to set a price range for its shares in about two weeks’ time and complete the offering by the end of the month, two sources said.

Goldman Sachs, Mediobanca and UBS are running the sale.

Improving stock markets since the start of the year have revived interest in new share issues after years of subdued activity because of the global financial crisis.

HellermannTyton, which makes products for fastening and protecting cables, announced on Monday that it plans a share listing in London.

British estate agent Countrywide and home and motor insurer esure are among those also in the process of listing.

Moleskine is controlled by private equity fund Syntegra Capital. Syntegra partner Marco Ariello told Reuters last June that the share offering was likely to comprise mostly of existing shares and that Syntegra intended to keep some of its holding after the sale.

($1 = 0.7687 euros) (Additional reporting by Stephen Jewkes in Milan; editing by Jason Neely)