Lavazza, the coffee king: “We don’t care about the stock market: we already have a lot of liquidity in hand”

For Lavazza as for other Made in Italy champions, abundant liquidity and the ability to generate a lot of money make it unnecessary to go public

where Lavazzahistoric Piedmontese coffee company and one of the icons of Made in Italy and family capitalism, will not enter Bag. You don’t need it. After all, when does a company decide to go public? Either when he has to solve inheritance problems within the property or more generally when he seeks capital on the market to finance a development project. But this is not the case with Lavazza, whose family owns 100% of the capital but has already resolved the division between ownership and management well in advance and, above all, has an enviable ability to generate cash and liquidity.

WHY AREN’T LAVAZZA, BARILLA, FERRERO AND MANY OTHER MADE IN ITALY CHAMPIONS ON THE STOCK EXCHANGE?

Investors will have to come to terms with this: they won’t see the Lavazza share on the Piazza Affari list just as they won’t see other champions of Made in Italy how Barilla, Ferrero, Armani and so on.

Marco Lavazza, one of the two vice-presidents of the group which is celebrating its 125th anniversary sponsoring the main British sporting events, explained the reasons for the lack of interest in the stock exchange. Wimbledon to Ascot without forgetting football. And he did it by making the numbers speak, which, much more than words, clarify the situation and the prospects of Lavazza, now in its fourth entrepreneurial generation. Today, the Piedmontese coffee group has a turnover of over 2 billion euros, 30 billion cups served, 100 million profits, 100 million cash generation and 280 million cash. With such healthy balance sheets and such a solid financial situation, what’s the point of going public? This is what Marco Lavazza says, who notes: “We have a queue of investment banks to go public and they also blame us for too much liquidity”, but the inherent strength of the group does not recommend landing on Piazza Affari.

COMPANIES WITH REAL LIQUIDITY DO NOT NEED THE BAG

The case of Lavazza, which is not very different from other icons of Made in Italy, actually dispels some clichés about the weak inclination of companies to go to the stock market. It is not always the obsession with control, which in some cases there is, that keeps SMEs away from the stock market. In other cases, such as this, it is the abundant liquidity in the company’s coffers that makes the listing superfluous. Of course, the listing could give a company greater visibility, but when it comes to already medium-sized groups such as Lavazza or Barilla or Ferrero, the problem does not arise. If we then add the costs and limitations that the stock market listing entails, the question is closed. But that is not a good reason why, especially in the new legislature, the political forces do not question themselves and do not take steps to simplify and reduce the costs and obligations of the IPO. They won’t convince Lavazza or Barilla, but many small companies probably will.

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