Like its cars, Ferrari shares won't come cheap or easily

Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:18pm EDT
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By Agnieszka Flak

MILAN (Reuters) - Alessia Scipione played in Ferrari bumper cars as a child, avidly follows her favorite team during Formula One races and when the Italian sportscar maker goes public on Wall St on Wednesday she may get a chance to own a small piece of it.

Or so she hopes, because like its sportscars with the prancing horse logo, the shares will not be cheap or easy to buy with Ferrari enthusiasts worldwide clamoring to buy into a brand with a cult-like status.

"I will probably never be able to afford a Ferrari, but if I manage to buy some shares, I could at least say I'm part of the Ferrari story, something Italian that you can be proud of," the 38-year-old translator from Pescara, central Italy, said.

With only 10 percent of the Italian maker of supercars on offer, demand outstrips supply, and the stock may price at the top of an indicated range of $48-52 per share later on Tuesday, people close to the matter have said.

Ferrari's status as the maker of exclusive high-performance cars for the super rich such as the 1 million euro ($1.14 million) hybrid LaFerrari and the 235,000 euro 488 Spider is driving the frenzy around the listing.

"With luxury it's a lot about emotion and allure," one U.S. investment banker said. "People will put money on Ferrari on the promise of what it represents and could be."

The shares are expected to sell in no time, bankers close to the deal said.

But investors could be ignoring challenges that risk constraining company growth, including the limited number of cars the firm can produce without losing its exclusivity, emissions limits and an economic slowdown in China that has already hit sales of engines to sister-brand Maserati.   Continued...

A Ferrari logo is pictured on a hat in Santiago city, Chile, October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado