September 4, 2017 / 3:21 PM / a year ago

Italian pasta maker De Cecco considering Milan bourse listing

MILAN, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Italian pasta maker De Cecco is considering an initial public offering (IPO) in Milan and is sounding out banks to hire as advisers, the company said on Monday after its chairman spoke about the proposed listing in a press interview.

The family-owned group had considered a possible bourse listing more than 10 years ago, but the plan was put on hold when the global financial crisis erupted in 2008.

“We started studying this project in 2006 and we were almost ready when Lehman Brothers collapsed ... we shelved it, but now the situation is better,” Chairman Filippo Antonio De Cecco was quoted as saying by Corriere della Sera.

He told the paper that proceeds from the IPO could allow the group to invest to expand in the United States. He gave no timing for the transaction.

The company confirmed that shareholders in the group, which is headquartered in the central Abruzzo region, had approved restarting the IPO process.

Most of Italy’s best-known food brands, including Nutella-maker Ferrero and pasta maker Barilla, are privately held by the founding families. But upmarket food chain Eataly plans to list on the Milan bourse next year.

De Cecco, which also produces olive oil, pasta sauces and rice, would be the first Italian pasta maker to go public.

In 2016 De Cecco recorded a 5.7 percent annual increase in revenue to 448 million euros ($533 million). Core earnings rose 18 percent to 49 million euros.($1 = 0.8399 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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