April 12, 2019 / 12:46 PM / in 12 days

Ferretti's Chinese owner lines up banks for relisting: sources

FILE PHOTO: A Ferretti employee works on a yacht at the company's shipyard in Sarnico, northern Italy, April 7, 2015. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini//File Photo

MILAN (Reuters) - Ferretti’s Chinese owner, which is preparing to relist the Italian luxury yacht maker, has lined up Barclays, BNP Paribas and UBS as global coordinators for the share sale, four sources close to the matter said.

Ferretti, whose big-name clients include actor George Clooney, was delisted in 2003 and bought a decade later by industrial conglomerate Weichai Group.

The shipbuilder is expected to announce its return to the Milan bourse in coming weeks after Weichai decided it was ready to cut its controlling stake of more than 80 percent.

Weichai is also considering issuing new Ferretti shares in the initial public offering, one of the sources said.

Under Weichai’s ownership, the maker of Riva speedboats and Pershing yachts has paid off its debt and returned to profit in 2016.

It has forecast a “production value”, a proxy for revenues, of more than 650 million euros ($735 million) for 2018, up from 623 million euros in 2017.

Weichai believes a listing would improve the company’s image and give it more visibility, a source said last month, adding that the timing of an IPO had yet to be decided and would depend on market conditions.

In 2017, Ferretti’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) rose 11 percent to 59 million euros. It releases 2018 results next week.

editing by John Stonestreet

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