Permira gets Marazzi away

While the Italian ECM pipeline for the first half of the year is one of the busiest in Europe, runaway successes within the mid-cap arena are still proving tough to achieve – particularly when the sellers include private equity firms. Last week, tile-maker Marazzi became the latest to float, with Permira among the selling shareholders.

But having come alongside the difficult valuation discussions surrounding Hutchison’s aborted flotation of its 3 Italia subsidiary and the JPMorgan-led IPO of Guala Closures, the €295.7m deal for Marazzi was not a blow-out in subscription and was priced at the bottom of the indicative range.

“It is clear that private equity sellers in Italy cannot just get whatever they want,” said one banker. “The background of questions over the 3 Italia IPO valuation also didn’t help the Marazzi deal.”

Pricing for the Marazzi IPO was fixed over the weekend of February 11–12 at €10.25, from a range of €10.25–€13.00. The deal comprised 28.85m shares, of which 7.2m were primary. Marazzi announced that there had been demand for 37m shares. Total proceeds were €295.7m, with the €74m of new money to be invested in the business.

Permira, which bought its stake from the Marazzi family in 2004, reduced its holding from 33% to 10%. Management and the Marazzi family also sold small stakes, bringing the pre-shoe free-float to 29%. There is a six-month lock-up following the IPO.