September 16, 2019 / 2:28 PM / a month ago

Yacht maker Ferretti plans Milan listing, eyes acquisition abroad

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian luxury yacht maker Ferretti aims to list on the Milan bourse by the end of October to accelerate its growth plan, which also envisages the acquisition of a foreign rival, its CEO Alberto Galassi said on Monday.

FILE PHOTO: An employee works on a yacht at the Ferretti's shipyard in Sarnico, northern Italy, April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini/File Photo

The group envisages a free float of 35-40%, Galassi told Reuters in a phone interview, after the company officially said it would offer both existing and new shares.

The group said in a statement it aimed to raise 100 million euros through the sale of new shares, without giving details about the size of its total offer.

Ferretti, whose big-name clients include actor George Clooney, was delisted in 2003 and bought a decade later by Chinese industrial conglomerate Weichai Group.

Weichai has a stake of around 80% and Piero Ferrari, the son of founder of the sports car maker, has a minority shareholding. Financial investor AdTech also owns a small stake.

Galassi said that Weichai and Piero Ferrari were long-standing investors and the Chinese group would remain the majority investor even after the initial public offering.

“Our two main shareholders won’t walk away, they will continue to support our growth, for which the listing will be an accelerator,” Galassi said.

Ferretti, which has recently completed the acquisition of the luxury sailboat maker Wally, could use part of its IPO proceeds for M&A, the CEO said.

“We have already set our sight on a foreign company,” Galassi said, without revealing the name of the target.

With fresh funds coming from the listing, Ferretti also plans to expand its patrolling vessels business, its after-sale service and refitting activities, and re-launch the Wally brand, Galassi said.

Ferretti reported revenue of 332 million euros and a core profit of 30 million euros in the first six months of the year.

Barclays, BNP Paribas, Mediobanca and UBS are the joint global coordinators and joint bookrunners for the IPO.

($1 = 0.9042 euros)

Editing by Giles Elgood

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