Following ‘Italian Wine Brands’, which entered AIM (the Italian stock exchange’s listing for small- and medium-sized firms) at the beginning of 2015, one more names follows that example. This is the renowned Amarone producer Masi Agricola, with control staying firmly in the hands of the Boscaini.
The family owners of the company, led by chairman and chief executive Sandro Boscaini, are selling 20 per cent of the shares mostly through a capital increase, at Eur 4,6 each, giving the firm a value of about Eur 150 million. Mr Boscaini said he saw the stock market listing as the first step towards aggregation in the Italian wine industry, the fragmentation of which has put it at a structural disadvantage to deal with globalization. A weakness shared by many of Italy’s smaller firms. Masi Agricola sold nearly 12 million bottles of wine in 2014 and made revenues of Eur 60 million with a margin of earnings before interests, tax, depreciation and amortization of 30 per cent. It’s wines are available in more than 90 countries and exports account for 90 per cent of turnover.
Masi Agricola, is the latest Italian food company to list on the stock exchange as high end food and beverage becomes increasingly popular among consumers. A recent study from Milan’s Bicocca University suggested if the number of companies on Italy’s stock market were to double to about 600 there would be a boost to Italy’s gross domestic product of up 1 per cent. Masi Agricola follows Italian coffee company Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group, on to the Milan exchange. Eataly, the Italian high end food chain is to list in 2016. Illy has appointed Roland Berger to look at strategic options including an initial public offering. Other food groups, such as pasta makers Giovanni Rana and De Cecco and cake group Bauli, may also consider listing, say bankers.