Italy’s web company Banzai spa, a leading Italian e-Commerce operator and one of the most important digital publishers, is ready for listing next Spring on the Italian Stock exchange at the Star segment, a special segment dedicated to midsize companies with a capitalization of less than 1 billion euros, which voluntarily adhere to and comply with high transparency and high liquidity (free float of minimum 35% ) requirements and have corporate governance in line with international standards. Admission to listing has been asked last November (see here the press release).
Fouded by Paolo Ainio, one of Italy’s internet pioneers (founder of Italy’s first web research engine Virgilio) and co-founded by Andrea di Camillo (founder of Italy’s Vitaminic, and today ceo of P101, a venture capital fund sponsored by Fondo Italiano di Investimento and Azimut holding), Banzai now counts 440 employees and collaborators and owns a large portfolio of e-commerce and media web sites such ad ePrice, SaldiPrivati, Giallo Zafferano, PianetaDonna, Studenti, ilPost and Liquida.
Joint global coordinators are Jefferies International Limited and Banca Profilo spa, the latter being controlled by Sator private equity fund sponsored by former banker Matteo Arpe, who is in turn a major shareholder of Banzai with a 28.1% stake (Ainio owning a 28.1% stake too).
Banca Akros spa is sponsor, joint lead manager and specialist, while legal advisor to Banzai is Clifford Chance and legal advisor to the banks is Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Financial advisor to Banzai is Vintage Capital, a private equity operator founded by Stefano SIglienti who in turn is a shareholder of Banzai.
Other shareholders are publishers Pietro Boroli (5.9%) and Marco Drago (2.15%) (whose families control De Agostini Group), financier Francesco Micheli (5.65%), venture capital operator Principia sgr (4.36%) and De Agostini group’s top manager Lorenzo Pellicioli (1.13%).
The ipo will consist for a major part of a capital increase (30 to 40 million euros) and just for a little bit of a sale of stakes by some of the more than 60 shareholders, MF-Milano Finanza wrote last November.
Banzai reached 120.3 million euros in revenues in the 9 months till last 30th September (+21% from 99.5 millions in 9m 2013), with an ebitda of 1.2 millions (from 0.2 millions) and and ebit of -2.8 milioni (from -2.4 milioni),with a net financial debt of 5.2 millions (from net cash of 4.2 millions) after having invested 6.3 millions (see here the press release).
In 2013 Banzai reached 153 milllion euros in revenues with 2 millions of ebitda, an ebit of -5.8 millions and a net loss of 6.34 millions. The latter piled up with previous net losses that the company has been suffering since 2009 to a total of 30 million euros of net losses, MF-Milano FInanza wrote last November. The company anyway estimates to reach 180-190 million euros in 2014 with an ebitda over 5.5 millions.
It is rather clear then that Banzai’s figures are quite challenging if you think that it is targeting investors for an ipo. Shareholders are evaluating the company on a sky rocket rising of its future expected sales and unique audience. The latter is already quite a record in Italy: Banzai is the first online Italian player by far with more than 18 million unique users per day and is number four in Italy after Google, Facebook e Microsoft.