Superyacht maker Ferretti pursues $1bn Hong Kong listing despite agitated market sources

A Ferretti stand sits among yachts on display at the Singapore Yacht Show on Sentosa island April 25, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su

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  • Stocks of war-hit luxury yacht builders are now recovering
  • Ferretti played down the conflict’s impact on revenue
  • Aims to raise up to $300 million by selling new source stocks

SYDNEY/MILAN, March 17 (Reuters) – Italian luxury yacht builder Ferretti Group is expected to start the process of listing its shares in Hong Kong on Monday, aiming for a valuation of around $1 billion by selling a 25 %, two said sources familiar with the matter.

Ferretti, controlled by Chinese conglomerate Weichai Group, is pushing ahead with its initial public offering (IPO) despite the conflict in Ukraine that is rocking financial markets and hitting stocks in the superyacht sector.

The pre-market phase ends on Friday and the company, which abandoned a previous IPO attempt in Milan in 2019, could still change its plans depending on the market.

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Ferretti has sought to minimize the impact of international sanctions against Russian oligarchs on his business. He said the countries involved in the dispute accounted for less than 3% of his revenue and he was not exposed to the largest mega-yachts most likely to be targeted by sanctions.

Shares of listed Italian rivals such as Sanlorenzo (SNL.MI) and The Italian Sea Group (TISGR.MI) plunged following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, losing between a quarter and a third of their value, but have cut their losses in the last 10 days.

“The favorable environment that the yachting industry has enjoyed over the past 12 months will continue over the medium term,” Berenberg said in a recent note, adding that the decline in stocks provides a good entry point.

Shares in Milan-listed Ferretti rivals

Ferretti has been meeting with investors and analysts over the past two weeks and is expected to launch the institutional offering on Monday, expanding it to retail investors the following day, one of the sources said.

Having encountered interest, including from Western names, and secured backing from high-profile investors who could account for around 60% of the deal, he aims to raise $300 million by selling newly issued shares for a valuation. total of about $1.2 billion, the source said.

A second source reported a valuation of $900 million.

Both sources said the shares are expected to begin trading in late March. IPOs in Hong Kong normally take about four days plus an additional five days before trading begins.

Ferretti is expected to use the proceeds to expand its range of yachts while developing services such as yacht brokerage and charter.

The 54-year-old company, which runs six shipyards in Italy, owns brands such as Pershing, Riva and Wally, in addition to Ferretti Yachts.

Ferretti filed with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in late December, with investment bank CICC as sole sponsor as well as joint global coordinator with BNP Paribas and Intesa Sanpaolo.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index gained more than 5% on Thursday, adding to Wednesday’s 9% rise driven by the prospect of renewed Chinese economic stimulus.

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Additional reporting by Federico Maccioni in Milan; Editing by Keith Weir and Elaine Hardcastle

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