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Studio Moderna May Have IPO in Warsaw, London or NY in Few Years

Studio Moderna SA, a Slovenian direct-marketing retailer, may hold an initial public offering abroad in the next few years to expand operations, Chairman Sandi Cesko said.

“We are looking to go for an IPO, let’s say, in a few years,” Cesko said in a Nov. 6 interview in Klosterneuburg, Austria, near Vienna. “This could be in London, could be in Warsaw, or it could be in New York.” Talks on the exact location are being held with investment banks, he said, declining to identify them.

With business in eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey, 19-year-old Studio Moderna is the largest television shopping organization in the region. The company, whose sales topped 300 million euros ($412 million) in 2010, has expanded from shopping channel sales to websites, retail stores and wholesale partners, which now account for 70 percent of total revenue.

Cesko, 50, who was the co-founder of Slovenia’s first computer company, ORIA, and who is the nation’s richest man according to the most recent list in Slovenia’s Manager magazine, holds more than 50 percent in Studio Moderna.

He sold minority stakes in the company to Insight Venture Partners, Templeton Strategic Emerging Markets Fund III, JH Partners and General Atlantic LLC in 2010 and 2011.

After an IPO, “I would personally like to keep control, but we will see,” said Cesko, speaking at a meeting between social innovators and entrepreneurs organized by Ashoka.

New Product Lines

Studio Moderna, whose sales according to Cesko have increased “25 percent to 30 percent on an annual basis,” plans to maintain growth with the launch of a new mattress with a foam spring and a new type of folding bike next year, Cesko said.

While about 90 percent of sales originate from eastern Europe, Russia and Turkey, Studio Moderna, via its Dormeo mattress brand, Bigfish folding bike brand and Kosmodisk back pain reliever, also sells to the U.S., Japan, the U.K., France and Italy.

The company also currently testing a new type of online-marketing tool with Canada Post Corp. and may launch the system in the U.K. at the end of 2012, he said.

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