Giochi IPO soon, say reports

A report from Bloomberg suggests Giochi Preziosi may sell a chunk of the company in a public offering later this year.
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The firm, whose owners include the founding Preziosi family and private-equity firm Clessidra SGR SpA, has already been in talks with several banks, although none have yet been appointed, according to the report.

The company may be valued at about €1 billion ($1.4 billion). Private-equity firms are lining up to sell businesses they own in IPOs and raising cash to return to their own investors. Clessidra would be selling Preziosi, owner of Italy’s Toys Center outlets, after acquiring a stake in 2008.

“Now would be a good time, after having discovered blockbusters like the Gormiti,” said Daniele Demartis, a fund manager at Rome-based Agora Investments Sgr. “It has an excellent track record for growth.”

Giochi’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation rose 6.1 per cent to €100m in the year- ended June 2009 and sales gained 12 per cent to €865m.

The Preziosi family holding company owns about 43 per cent, while Clessidra owns an indirect stake through a vehicle that holds 38 per cent of Giochi Preziosi. Intesa Sanpaolo SpA, Italy’s second-biggest lender, has about 14.3 percent.

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