Yoox Chief Marchetti Raises Stake, Forecasts Strong U.S. Growth

Yoox SpA (YOOX) Chief Executive Officer Federico Marchetti raised his stake in the online retailer of fashion and luxury goods after exercising stock options, saying the Italian company is being undervalued by investors.

Marchetti, 42, increased his holding in the Bologna-based company to 6.594 percent from 4.785 percent, Italy’s market regulator said today in a statement. On a fully diluted basis, the executive’s stake remains 11.083 percent, making him the single largest shareholder, according to the company.

“The current stock price doesn’t fully reflect the real value of the company,” Marchetti, who founded the company in 2000 and is also its chairman, said in a phone interview. The CEO said he spent 5 million euros ($6.59 million), including tax, for the additional stock.

Yoox shares have more than doubled since an initial public offering in 2009, giving the distributor of brands including Diesel and Valentino a market value of 466 million euros. The stock rose as much as 3.4 percent today and was trading up 1.5 percent at 8.80 euros at 4:50 p.m. in Milan.

Sales in the first nine months of 2011 climbed 36 percent to 204.4 million euros, Yoox said in November. The online retailer reports fourth-quarter revenue on Feb. 8.

“The U.S. is growing significantly, Asia is in full sail and other European markets like Russia are doing extremely well,” Marchetti said. Italy, which accounts for about a fifth of revenue, “continues to grow.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Andrew Roberts in Paris at aroberts36@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Sara Marley at smarley1@bloomberg.net

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