More on the Moleskine SpA Takeover

Previous Moleskine articles:

Moleskine SpA Takeover

Moleskine SpA: Paper Is Not Dead

I found this very good article on Moleskine SpA from the WSJ:Moleskine Turns Paper Into Big Profit for Private-Equity Owner by Simon Clark.

Except for the press release, I haven’t found a whole lot on the Moleskine takeover. This WSJ article provides a little bit of a background. Sometimes there is a paywall, so here are some bits and bites from the article:

The private equity owner, Syntegra Capital, bought a majority stake in Milan-based Moleskine in 2006, investing €17 million. It will earn a total of €323 million ($363 million), or 19 times as much when the sale of its remaining stake is completed.

D’Ieteren NV, a Belgian family-owned company, said on Sept. 22 that it would buy Moleskine and delist its shares from the Milan stock exchange.

The 2006 purchase of Moleskine was a bet that people would keep buying notebooks in an increasingly digital world. The company’s focus on design and its creation of a brand associated with artists and writers won loyal customers, said Mr. Ariello, who is also chairman of Moleskine.

Syntegra Capital installed a new chief executive at Moleskine— Arrigo Berni—a former executive at luxury Italian jewelry maker Bulgari. He increased Moleskine’s employees from 20 to about 450 as sales expanded almost 10 times over a decade to €128.2 million in 2015. Net profit increased 64.1% to €27.1 million in 2015 compared with the previous year.

Moleskine was a word used by British travel writer Bruce Chatwin to describe a notebook made in the French city of Tours until the 1980s. In the 1990s, a Milanese publisher started making notebooks inspired by the original French design and using the Moleskine name, which it trademarked.

The private-equity firm earned dividends from Moleskine and sold a 15% stake to another private-equity firm in 2010. It sold shares in Moleskine to the public in 2013 and sold more shares in 2015. Now it is selling its remaining 35% stake to D’Ieteren. Private-equity firms typically sell assets within five years of buying them.
D’Ieteren’s acquisition values Moleskine at €506 million.

The Belgian company is diversifying into stationery after more than two centuries of investing in the transport industry, from wheels to vehicle glass repair. D’Ieteren expects demand to keep growing for Moleskine notebooks.


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