Syntegra Capital-backed notebook maker Moleskine has begun its journey towards an IPO despite reported interest in a buyout from several other private equity firms.
The Italian company has approved the first in a series of documents needed for its public listing, according to Reuters, which said the iconic company had already received the go-ahead from the Italian stock exchange.
Two months ago Sky News reported Blackstone and Lion Capital were among buyout houses interested in buying the business, while KKR and Bain Capital were also said to be considering a deal.
Moleskine’s EBITDA was €28.6m in 2011, a rise of 26.9 per cent on the previous year, while its revenues were €66.6m.
Syntegra holds a 68 per cent stake in the business, which was established in 1997 to replicate the style of notebook used by artists and writers such as Vincent Van Gogh and Ernest Hemingway.
The company hired Goldman Sachs, Mediobanca and UBS last June to handle an IPO, but also began a sale process through Rothschild in November, Sky News said.
It said that process included an end of November deadline for offers that could determine whether the IPO went ahead.
No announcements about the sale have been made by the company.
Moleskine has grown from 15 employees in 2006 to more than 100 today and has offices in Milan, Hong Kong and New York.
It has seen annual growth of about 25 per cent since Syntegra bought a 75 per cent stake in the company for €60m in 2006.
London-based venture capital firm Index Ventures also bought a 15 per cent stake in the business in 2011.
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