Milano Finanza – Sailing among the STAR(s)

8th April 2024

of Emerick de Narda

Giovanni Costantino

With an accelerated bookbuilding of shares The Italian Sea Group has achieved its objective: it now has the free float necessary to move to the segment of the stock exchange dedicated to mid caps. CEO Costantino speaks.

In just 15 years, starting from a small company, he managed to create a group with a capitalization of over 500 million, which has become a symbol of excellence in yachting and Made in Italy. The story of Giovanni Costantino, founder and CEO of The Italian Sea Group, is that of a man who has always followed his dreams and now, after years of hard work, he can be said to live them. Starting in 2009 with the acquisition of the Tecnomar brand, a company in serious financial difficulty, in a few years Costantino restored it and then moved on to the acquisition of the Admiral group (2011) and Nuovi Cantieri Apuania (2012), which went on to form the architrave of the group of The Italian Sea Group (2013). To complete (for now) the group’s brand portfolio come Perini Navi (2022), Picchiotti (2022) and the acquisition of Celi 1920 (2023).

Q. Let’s start from the end, from the accelerated bookbuilding operation of March 27 which led its holding company Gc Holding to sell 8.7% of the capital of Tisg, bringing it down from 62.29% to 53.6% of the capital. What is the rationale for the operation? Have you decided to raise money? Do you need capital?

A. Absolutely not, the ABB operation was necessary to reach an adequate level of free float to meet the requirements necessary to move onto the Star segment of the Italian Stock Exchange/Euronext. Q. What is the timeframe for transcription? A. The whole team is working to reach the Star finish line before the summer holidays, in July. It is an important objective that we have set ourselves since the IPO, which took place in June 2021, and represents an opportunity to further broaden the visibility of our stock towards high-profile investors in Italy and abroad.

Q. Taking over a company that was going through a heavy financial crisis 15 years ago and managing to create a group with a capitalization of over 500 million is a great achievement

A. The satisfaction was above all saving the Italian workers who would otherwise have been lost. In any case, this is just the beginning, because we intend to grow further as clearly shown by our order backlog as of 31 December 2023 amounting to 1.2 billion euros with deliveries scheduled until 2027. 34 orders are currently in production, split into 24 mega yachts and 10 Tecnomars for Lamborghini 63.

Q. So let’s talk about results. 2023 brings a dividend for shareholders of 0.37 euros per share, equal to a payout ratio of 53%.

A. On May 20th we will actually pay around 19.6 million euros in dividends, a considerable amount compared to the net profit of 37 million. Our turnover stood at 364 million euros but it is only the beginning because in our industrial plan we have the ambition to reach a range between 400 and 420 million euros in 2024 and 430-450 million in 2025 and therefore there will be further space to satisfy shareholders.

Q. What are the characteristics that lead a customer to choose a Tisg yacht?

A. The answer is simple: the quality of Made in Italy. More than 80% of our suppliers are based in Italy, with around 30% made up of small artisan companies from the nautical district of Tuscany and Liguria. We really appreciate these small businesses that have worked with us for a long time, to the point that some of them have almost become corporate partners for us.