Moncler steps up projects in advance of IPO

The atmosphere at Moncler is prickling with excitment. The famous French down jacket brand, acquired by Remo Ruffini in 2003, is busy with many new projects as it prepares its debut on the stock market.

For the autumn/winter 2013-14 season, Moncler unveiled its “Moncler W” collection as part of its main line. The capsule is a new collaboration with a young Japanese designer, Yosuke Aizawa, whose sportswear brand White Mountaineering focuses on design and textile technology and has become a cult name in Japan in recent years. The capsule collection will be presented on the track of Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium on May 24 and will be available come August in Moncler boutiques as well as in select multibrand stores.

Moncler Gamme Bleu, fall/winter 2013-14 (photo: Pixelformula)

At the same time, work is finishing up on the new Moncler shop, which will open this June 24 in Via Montenapoleone in the heart of Milan’s most luxurious neighborhood. The brand already opened a store in 2008 in an adjacent street (via della Spiga). For the first time, this space can accommodate both the brand’s regular collections and Moncler Kids, the line for children 0-14 years. Effective next spring/summer 2014, the children’s line will be fully managed in-house at Moncler. The group recently acquired the joint venture that it had created in 2009 with Altana, the Italian company specialized in children’s wear, to produce and distribute this line.

In March, the down jacket brand also presented its first collection of Moncler eyeglasses at the Mido eyewear trade show. The line was created by a joint venture with the Italian eyewear producer Allison in which Moncler has a 51% stake. All these projects are intended to strengthen the brand and part of an overall strategy to pave the way for the label’s IPO.

The stock exchange listing of Moncler was floated months ago and confirmed in March by the investment company Eurazeo, which owns 32% of the Italian group. Eurazeo acquired a 45% stake in 2011 before selling 13% of its shares to Franco-Chinese investors Cathay Capital and Chinese IDG-Accel-China Capital.

On the publication of its results for 2012, Eurazeo said the Moncler brand is preparing an IPO that could take place by the end of 2013 or in the following quarters.

Moncler store in Milan, Via della Spiga

In this context, the clothing group, which also includes the brands Henry Cotton’s, Marina Yachting, Coast Weber & Ahaus and the 18CRR81 Cerruti license, is reorganizing itself into two distinct companies: one for Moncler jackets and the other for the remaining brands under the name Sportswear Industries.

The group’s revenues increased from 432 million euros in 2010 to 624 million euros in 2012 with a gross operating profit of 170 million (+39% compared to 2011). This dynamic growth is mainly driven by the Moncler brand, which now represents 78% of total group sales. Thus, only the down jacket company (an impressive 480 million euros in sales this year, up 35% compared to 2011) will be launched on the Milan stock market. The grouping of the other brands under Sportswear Industries may be sold off. According to the Italian weekly “Il Mondo,” negotiations are underway “with Argos Soditic funds and the Li & Fung Group, owner of Cerruti.”

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