The share price of Geox has gone well over the level of €4.6 set for its initial public offering, reaching multiples that are dwarfing those of the luxury goods companies. Trading in the stock was supended on Dec. 1, during the first day on the Milan Bourse, where the high demand sent the stock price up by 19.2 percent to close at €5.48. After reaching a peak in the volume of trading on Dec. 2, with 8.9 million shares changing hands on that single day, the share price grew more or less steadily in subsequent days reaching a high of €5.82 yesterday. It was trading around €5.77 earlier today.

Geox' board of directors decided on Nov. 30 to launch a stock option plan, assigning 2,850,000 shares to top and middle managers and key people within the group, who have not yet been determined, at the issue price of €4.6. They will be able to exercise their options at the end of 2007, 2008 and 2009 based on the operating results.

A new board has been subsequently formed that includes six new directors including a famous Italian attorney, Francesco Gianni, and a key executive of Microsoft with European responsibilities, Umberto Paolucci. Among other actions, the new board has set up an executive committee composed of Geox’ chairman, Mario Moretti Polegato, his 23-year-old son Enrico and Diego Bolzonello, the group’s CEO. Mario Moretti Polegato and Paolucci sit on a new ethical committee together with Joaquin Navarro-Valls, the spokesman of Pope John Paul II.