Safilo's share value went beyond €5.00 on the first day of trading on Milan's stock exchange last Dec. 8, reaching the level of €5.10, but it closed at €4.92 on the same day, slightly above the original offer price of €4.90. Since then the share price has remained below €4.90, swinging between €4.70 and €4.80. On Friday, just before the Christmas holidays, it closed at €4.76, or 0.95 percent better than on the previous day but still 2.8 percent below the heavily negotiated start-up price.
The company's management has reminded investors that Safilo has projects in the pipeline to reduce costs and to improve sales. The negotiations for the renewal of Safilo's important licensing contract with Ralph Lauren are due to start in January, and their success or failure may have a major impact on Safilo's share price.
The future shareholdings of key licensors such as Giorgio Armani, Diesel and LVMH are not yet clear, but LVMH has reportedly indicated that it will not own more than 2 percent in the company, while Diesel has reportedly reserved a 2 percent share. After the IPO, Vittorio Tabacchi and his family own 36.8 percent of the shares in Safilo. Credit Suisse First Boston is the second-largest shareholder with 12.27 percent through two different funds. Fidelity International is #3 with a stake of 5.48 percent.