Photographer: Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

Valentino Eyes IPO in 2017 After Revenue Exceeds $1 Billion

  • Listing won't happen sooner because of market volatility
  • Earnings nearly doubled to 180 million euros in 2015

Italian fashion house Valentino is considering selling shares in an initial public offering as early as next year after nearly doubling profit on revenue of more than $1 billion in 2015.

An IPO is “still a project” and could happen in 2017, Chief Executive Officer Stefano Sassisaid in an interview on Monday during Paris fashion week. He ruled out listing sooner because of recent market declines that have wiped billions off the value of luxury stocks.

Valentino’s Qatari owner is working with Rothschild to explore options including an IPO of the maker of $3,000 handbags, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News in October. Mayhoola For Investments SPC, which bought the company from Permira Advisers in 2012, may try to sell a 25 percent to 35 percent stake at a price that would value the entire company at as much as 2 billion euros ($2.2 billion) or nearly three times what it paid, the people said.

While the likes of Prada have struggled with slowing luxury demand, Valentino has been enjoying a renaissance under Sassi and creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli. Sales have more than quadrupled to 987 million euros since 2009 as the trio expanded Valentino’s product range and distribution. Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization reached 180.2 million euros in 2015, versus 98.5 million euros a year earlier.

Market Weakness

Sassi expects revenue to grow at a double-digit pace in 2016 as Valentino opens about 25 stores globally. The company currently operates 130 shops directly and is aiming for about 200, Sassi said. Louis Vuitton, the world’s largest luxury brand, has more than 450.

The CEO said he’s keeping a close eye on greater China, where Valentino gets 25 percent of sales, and predicted that that the recent stock market weakness could hurt global luxury consumption. Yet he’s not concerned about the brand’s long-term outlook.

Luxury buyers are prepared to spend more on Valentino products and sales to U.S. shoppers did well in the first two months of the year as the dollar’s strength boosted their purchasing power in Europe and other international destinations, Sassi said. “Customers are traveling everywhere.”

The fashion house, established in 1960 by designer Valentino Garavani and his business partner Giancarlo Giammetti, gets more than half its sales from accessories and about a third from ready-to-wear. The company will show its latest women’s collection in Paris on Tuesday.

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