The dossier for the sale of Panini is back hot. Panini is Italy’s well-known producer group of historic football players’ adhesive stickers, whose shareholders (ceo Aldo Hugo Sallustro, chairman Anna Baroni and Maria Francesca Baroni) last Autumn mandated Lincoln International to identify potential investors interested in taking over the company.
Last January there were rumors about a short list of two, that were an international private equity fund and an American industrial group (see here a previous post by BeBeez) and now it seems that the US group is closer to the goal.
On Saturday July 13th, the Gazzetta di Modena newspaper reported that a US delegation had made contact with the group’s top management to put on the table an offer that would include production in Modena, as the ceo would like and that would rate the group one billion euros . A figure that seems high, but that in reality is equal to the group’s FY 2018 revenues. And in fact the evaluations that circulated in the past months were over one billion.
In 2018, the group reached a turnover of around one billion euros thanks to the Football World Cup, practically double compared to 536 million in 2017. Antonio Allegra, director of Panini’s Italian market, had anticipated it on Tuesday 8 January during the presentation of the new album “Calciatori 2018-2019”, the famous collection of the Modena company, now in its 58th edition. And last June, Fabrizio Masinelli, treasurer of the Panini group, confirmed to BeBeez that the final number will come closer to when said (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
It is not the first time that there is talk of a possible sale for Panini, which also prints the strips of Mickey Mouse and Marvel comics. Normally it always happens downstream of the results of the World Cup year. For 2018, however, the result of a billion is really a great leap, if we consider that 2014, the year of the previous World Cup, Panini had closed the budget with 758 million in revenues and an ebitda of 198 million (see here a previous post by BeBeez).
Panini was born in 1961, with the marketing of the first Calciatori collection, although the Panini brothers already had a kiosk in the Corso Duomo in Modena in 1945 and the Fratelli Panini Newspaper Distribution Agency was established in 1954. Until 1988 the company was always run by the Panini family, while that year it was sold to the Maxwell Group. Four years later, in 1992, Panini was bought by the then Bain Gallo Cuneo and the De Agostini group, who two years later resold it to the Marvel Entertainment Group. At the beginning of October 1999 the company returned to Italian ownership thanks to the management buyout financed by Fineldo spa, the financial company of the Merloni family. Fineldo in 2016 then exited the capital of Panini, cashing in 79.7 million euros for its 23% stake and, as part of a leveraged buyout operation for a total of 755 million euros, the property has gone entirely into hand to current members (see here a previous post by BeBeez).