The puffy-coat billionaire's IPO soars

Moncler's pricey down coats are beloved by the wealthy. And Monday, the company's stock was a winner as well.

By Forbes Digital Dec 16, 2013 2:09PM

Remo Ruffini (pictured) has transformed a sleepy Italian clothing company into a global luxury apparel powerhouse known for selling puffy $1,000 down jackets.

On Monday, investors sought to get a piece of another expensive Moncler offering, bidding up the shares of the company by more than 40% from their IPO price.

Shares of Moncler, which started trading on Monday on the Milan Stock Exchange, surged to 14.38 euros in their first day of trading. Ruffini, chairman and creative director of Moncler, took over the company in 2003 and did not sell a share in the initial public offering.

His 32% stake in Moncler is now valued at about $1.6 billion. It's one of Italy's biggest IPOs in years.

Moncler was once a small Italian company with French origins that catered to a niche market by making jackets for mountain climbers and downhill ski racers. But Ruffini has tapped into the global luxury market, particularly in Asia, where Moncler generates a serious amount of its sales and opened big stores in countries like China.

The other big winners are Ruffini's private-equity backers, Eurazeo and The Carlyle Group. Those private-equity investors raised more than $1 billion by selling shares in the IPO. Carlyle initially invested in Moncler in 2008, buying a 48% stake for some $200 million. Carlyle sold part of its Moncler shares in 2011 to Eurazeo for about $500 million. Eurazeo, a French investment firm, has made more than $1 billion from its Moncler investment in just over two years.

The luxury fashion segment has produced some successful entrepreneurial stories in recent years and been well received by investors . Michael Kors, for example, guided his Michael Kors Holdings (KORS) through a successful IPO in late 2011, and shares of the luxury retailer have increased by 240% since then.

Private-equity firm Bain Capital this month announced it was buying a big stake in Canada Goose, which, like Moncler, sells luxury winter apparel. But the Italians rule this world and Ruffini is joining seven other Italian billionaires as the richest people in the fashion business.

More on Forbes

Dec 16, 2013 2:52PM
It is always great to see another business boom rather than burst..... I am happy for them and all the jobs for people who need work.
Dec 16, 2013 3:33PM
Only a fool would spend that kind of money of down products. There is MUCH MUCH better quality out there when it comes to down jackets. Just because your rich doesnt mean you have to be stupid
Dec 16, 2013 6:30PM
No picture of one of the coats....way to provide great content!
Dec 16, 2013 6:21PM

didn't he try and sell these on Seinfeld

"But I don't want to look like a pirate"

Dec 16, 2013 6:27PM
Looks like one the guys under the overpass with a bottle of ripple in a paper bag.
Dec 26, 2013 11:00AM
Bad "most interesting man in the world" pose.  Has the look that says "who urinated in my Dos Equis?"
Dec 16, 2013 6:54PM

Seinfeld, was pushing the puffy, frilly shirts against his will for Krazy Kramer and a gfriend...

But remember George in a/the puffy coat, where he looked like the Pillsbury Doughboy..

Or maybe the Michelin Guy...?

Dec 16, 2013 8:29PM
Thousand dollar jackets?  Is that all?  The legal drug dealer dragging in 55 BILLION dollars in one year probably wear these once and throw them in the garbage.  I get my coat from the consignment store.  But, then, I don't have 4700 drug dealerships dragging in money for me. Could one truck haul 55 BILLION dollars in one load if it were in $1 bills???
Dec 16, 2013 3:41PM
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