Here is an IPO you didn’t expect: Moleskine

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If you work in technology and still like to take notes, write, draw and imagine, then you are quite familiar with the Moleskine brand. What was once a cool but obscure brand of notebooks has become a product so ubiquitous that you can find it in swag bags for conferences, and venture capital firms hand them out like candy.

In other words, it is very mainstream and very big. And that is why Moleskine went public today on the Milan Stock Exchange. Its shares were priced at 2.30 euros a share. The company raised 245 million euros, or roughly $314 million. It is valued at roughly $626 million. Moleskin had revenues of 78.1 million euros and a profit of about 18.1 million euros in 2012. The stock jumped 3.9 percent today before falling slightly.

Here is a little background on the company from its prospectus:

The company grew out of the experience of Modo&Modo, a small Milanese publisher that in 1997 created the Moleskine trademark, rediscovering and renewing an extraordinary tradition. In the fall of 2006, Modo&Modo was purchased by SGCapital Europe, now Syntegra Capital, with the objective of fully developing the potential of the Moleskine brand. Since 1 January 2007, Moleskine has also become the name of the company that owns the worldwide trademark rights for the brand.  In the fall of 2006, Modo&Modo was purchased by SGCapital Europe, now Syntegra Capital, with the objective of fully developing the potential of the Moleskine brand.

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The IPO is a windfall for Index Ventures, one of the investors in Moleskine. The company is making efforts to cash in on its tech connections. It recently partnered with Evernote for a smart notebook and also has started a community for Moleskine customers. By the way, all the cool kids are now using Field Notes, which is, well, cooler.

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