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By
Reuters
Published
Oct 8, 2012
Reading time
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Italian eyewear maker Marcolin in stake sale talks with PAI

By
Reuters
Published
Oct 8, 2012

MILAN (Reuters) - The main shareholders in Italian sunglasses maker Marcolin SpA (MCL.MI) are in advanced talks on the sale of a controlling stake to private equity fund PAI, the company said, sending its shares up as much as 10 percent to their highest in over a year.


Tom Ford Eyewear

Marcolin, maker of sunglasses for brands including Tod's (TOD.MI) and Diesel and which ranks third in the Italian market by sales after Luxottica (LUX.MI) and Safilo (SFLG.MI), confirmed on Monday reports that talks with PAI were underway.

Il Sole 24 Ore had said on Sunday PAI could buy a 30 percent stake and make an offer for the rest of the company, valued at about 280 million euros ($365.7 million) at Friday's market close.

Marcolin did not provide details on the value of any offer or the identity of the sellers.

The company is managed through a pact under which the Marcolin family are main shareholders alongside Diego Della Valle, owner of luxury shoe maker Tod's.

Della Valle and his brother Andrea each own 20 percent, while the Marcolin family owns around 30 percent. The pact between the main shareholders expires on December 14, 2013.

Milano Finanza newspaper said on Saturday Diego Della Valle may decide to reinvest in Marcolin, putting him on a par with other luxury goods makers which are strengthening control of suppliers to reduce costs and better compete amid challenging economic conditions.

Minority shareholder and fashion entrepreneur Renzo Rosso, whose Diesel sunglasses are made by Marcolin, could also decide to reinvest, Milano Finanza said.

Banca Akros values Marcolin at 286 million euros, or 8.7 times core earnings (EBITDA). The brokerage kept its target price for Marcolin shares at 4.8 euros while cutting its rating on the stock to "hold" from "accumulate", citing limited upside.

By 1016 GMT, Marcolin shares were up 5.8 percent at 4.8 euros.

Marcolin's sales declined 2.7 percent to 121.5 million euros in the first half because of lower demand in crisis-hit Europe, its main market.

($1 = 0.7657 euros)

(Reporting by Antonella Ciancio; Additional reporting by Sabina Suzzi; Editing by David Holmes)

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