Geox’ preparations for its public offering are going ahead according to plan, and a preliminary prospectus has already been submitted to Consob, the watchdog for the Milan stock exchange, which has two months to put its stamp of approval. Meanwhile, an extraordinary general meeting of Geox has given the go-ahead for a capital increase of around 10 percent and has approved changes in the company’s statutes that are a prerequisite for flotation.

According to reliable sources, around 30 percent of the company’s equity will be floated through the IPO. Mario Moretti Polegato became Geox’s sole shareholder a few weeks ago after the family’s business interests were split between himself and his brother Giancarlo. The Polegato family’s property also include a large vineyard producing “prosecco,” the Italian sparkling wine.

According to certain analysts, rumors leaked to the press of a €1.5 million valuation for the Italian comfort shoe manufacturer make little sense. At that price the company would be valued at almost 6 times its 2003 turnover, almost 30 times its operating margin and 49 times its net profit.

Moretti Polegato has made no comment so far, and no justification is likely until the Fall for a figure that seems quite disproportionate when compared with Tod’s, the other leading Italian shoemaker already listed on the Milan stock exchange. Diego Della Valle’s company has higher economic indicators than Geox, with turnover of €370 million as compared to Geox’s €254 million, and the Milan Bourse pays 15 times Tod’s net profits. On this basis, Geox earned €30 million last year and should be valued at €450 million.