The Italia Independent Group has announced that it will apply in 2016 for listing on the Mercato Telematico Azionario (MTA), a higher counter of the Italian Borsa (stock exchange). Since July 2013, the company has been quoted on AIM, the alternative investment counter of the Italian stock exchange for small and medium-sized companies.
Its share price has ranged between a minimum of €23.60 and a maximum of €38.15 in the last 52 weeks, touching the bottom of the range in November, but the share price has gone up again in the last few weeks and it is now close to €27, giving it a stock market capitalization of €57.0 million.
The company's increased turnover is the reason behind the desired switch, as the standard section of the MTA is for companies with revenues between €40 million and €1 billion. In 2014 Italia Independent generated revenues of €30 million, and analysts are forecasting that they will grow to €40 million in 2015. The Italia Independent Group is also active in sectors such as apparel and communication, but eyewear represents three quarters of its turnover.
One likely reason for the recent appreciation in the company's share price is a series of transactions by the company's 38-year-old chairman, Lapo Elkann, which have made him the majority shareholder. In the last few weeks, his personal stake has gone up gradually from about 49 percent to 50.03 percent and then to 50.36 percent of the capital with the acquisition of 7,800 shares. The purchases were conducted in various stages at unit prices ranging from €24.02 to €28.61.
According to Elkann, who is an heir of the Fiat conglomerate, Italia Independent is set to become one of the top five leading eyewear producers in the world, which is one reason why it is currently seeking to become self-sufficient on the manufacturing side. The company's chief executive, Andrea Tessitore, recently told an Italian newspaper that it is about to acquire an eyewear manufacturer in the province of Varese who is one of Italia Independent's major suppliers. No details are expected until the takeover is formalized, probably sometime next month.
The company continues to develop joint marketing agreements with major names in other sectors of the Italian industry. It's now the case with Ducati Motor Holding, the high-end motorcycle company, which has signed a deal with Italia Independent for new, jointly owned brand of products to be developed in the two companies' fields of excellence. The brand will be called Scramble, like the name of a famous American all-terrain motorbike.
Italia Independent will launch a specific eyewear collection under the Scramble Ducati name. A limited edition Ducati Scrambler motorcyle and the sunglass collection of Italia Independent were recently presented jointly in Miami. The eyewear collection is inspired by the bike's “Land of Joy” image. It will be on sale at Ducati Stores and Italia Independent concept stores, on the two partners' respective online sale platforms and at major optical retail outlets worldwide.