Why was Euronext Growth Milan the best exchange for Riba Mundo Tecnologia’s listing? It all came down to the analysis and feedback carried out by the company’s consultants across both the Spanish and Italian capital markets, says Marco Dezi, CEO and main shareholder of the tech enterprise firm.
The company, which is also a B2B electronic distributor, was publicly listed on Euronext Growth Milan in July 2023, marking it as the first Spanish company to list on the Italian stock exchange.
As part of his role at the firm, Dezi represents Riba Mundo Tecnologia to institutions, stakeholders and customers, even though the firm has an internal IR team of one and also outsources some IR functions to a third-party consultancy.
Explaining the reasons behind the company’s choice to list in Italy, Dezi says that beyond the competent market feedback the firm received, another reason to pick Milan was that the company boasts ‘a fully Italian management team [in] Italy and [the country was] the first [one] in terms of billing in 2022, [representing] 20 percent of our total revenue.
‘I knew of other companies that had a positive experience and a positive outcome on their evaluation following an IPO on the Euronext Growth Milan. Their experiences were an inspiration for Riba Mundo Tecnologia and we believe it’s the right market to enhance the company and the sector we operate in.’
For Riba Mundo, stepping into the IPO realm meant charting unfamiliar waters, particularly due to its unique position as the first Spanish company listed on Euronext Growth Milan. The journey spanned more than a year and presented multifaceted challenges, including differences in regulations across the two jurisdictions, language discrepancies and having to co-ordinate the work of numerous teams involved in the process.
‘Ours was perhaps a more complicated and longer IPO journey than normal,’ Dezi recalls, adding that it was also his first experience of working on an IPO.
He adds, however, that the process was a rewarding one: ‘It is an experience I recommend to any entrepreneur who has the opportunity to undertake this path as it is professionally educational, helps you enter into symbiosis with the company you represent and leads you to get to know every aspect of the business thoroughly.’
Dezi outlines three pivotal phases in the IPO process. The initial, perhaps most effortless, phase focused on comprehending the road ahead, he explains.
‘It was about understanding the path that was to be undertaken, the due diligence that was needed and which teams would be part of the project,’ he says. ‘In this phase, enthusiasm for what we wanted to achieve prevailed and it didn’t require a lot of management effort.’
Stage two is when the real work began. ‘It was a very intense phase because, in the meantime, the normal operations of the company had to be ensured,’ Dezi explains.
‘Especially in a company in full growth like ours, it was perhaps an even more amplified difficulty.’
At this point and before entering the final phase, the company had to remodel some of its processes because members of the management team had to prioritize the IPO due diligence at the expense of other tasks.
‘It was a phase that required a lot of commitment from several key stakeholders in the company and careful management of all company forces was needed to prevent the work from [hurting] the company’s numbers and – above all – its growth,’ Dezi recalls.
The time to shine
The last phase was when the company embarked on roadshows, a time Dezi remembers as ‘the most challenging moment’ for him and CFO Jose Piñera Lopez. On reflection, Dezi says the meeting with investors was a crucial moment to convey the company story, detail long-term objectives and explain where the company was headed.
‘The commitment in this last phase is directly proportional to the gratification you will get once those investors understand the potential and the prospects of your company and choose to believe in you and invest in your business,’ he says.
But why was July 2023 the right moment for the IPO? Dezi says it was necessary as a testament to the company’s growth and the starting point to have its value recognized by partners and investors. Riba Mundo Tecnologia had recorded a 50 percent sales uplift in the first two quarters of 2023 compared with the previous year, and the company’s headcount was also growing at a fast pace. The biggest hurdle, however, was to ensure the company’s story was perceived correctly by its potential investors.
‘The biggest challenge was to tell the story of how a trading B2B company was gaining ground and changing the market with its approach based on technology and a vision of internationalization free from commercial constraints,’ Dezi states. ‘It was also a great challenge to present ourselves as a non-Italian company and the first ever Spanish one [on Euronext Growth Milan].’
Backing up your numbers
So what advice does Dezi have for those embarking on their first IPO journey?
‘Follow the due diligence with maximum commitment during the IPO because it helps you to know the company in-depth,’ he says. He also urges IR professionals or leaders like him who need to manage the relationship with potential investors to always talk about the company with the right enthusiasm while always remaining balanced.
‘Anything you say needs to be backed up by numbers and objectives that have been achieved,’ he advises.