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Eataly Eyes IPO in 2018

The company is distancing itself from Mario Batali following sexual harassment allegations

Eataly Downtown NY Ribbon Cutting
Eataly in downtown NY
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Eataly Downtown

Italian megamarket chain Eataly is planning to go public. Following the debut of its massive culinary theme park in Italy and recent expansion to the West Coast with an LA store, the Torino, Italy-based company says it’s planning an IPO in Italy as early as 2018, according to the Financial Times.

Though Eataly would be listed on the Italian stock exchange, known as the Borsa Italiana, investors around the world, including those in the U.S., would in theory be able to purchase shares of the company.

Eataly has approximately three dozen locations worldwide, including a total of five in the U.S. It plans to open stores in SF and Vegas in the next two years, as well as more international locations in cities such as Toronto, Stockholm, Paris, and London. Eataly executive chairman Andrea Guerra told the Financial Times the company is planning major expansion over the next decade and wants to “have a store in every world capital.”

Eataly expects to post sales of of approximately $554 million (€470 million) this year, nearly a 25 percent increase over 2016. The company reported an overall net loss in 2016 and did not say whether it expects to be profitable this year or not.

Eataly has been quick to distance itself from Mario Batali, who brought Eataly to the U.S. along with partners Joe and Lidia Bastianich, following new allegations of sexual harassment from several women going back nearly two decades.

Although he has been a highly visible figurehead for Eataly in America, the company has clarified that Batali is only a minority stakeholder in Eataly U.S. and has never held an operational role within the company. In a follow-up story published after the allegations broke, founder Oscar Farinetti told the Financial Times that it was too early to determine what impact the Batali allegations could have on Eataly’s business.

Eataly Plans IPO in Milan After U.S. Expansion [Financial Times]
Batali Steps Away From Empire Following Sexual Misconduct Allegations [Eater NY]