Special 1 year of stock exchange: interview with Roberto Lacorte
Published: 24 July 2018 12:01
One year after PharmaNutra SPA debut listing on the stock exchange, we draw up a first overall assessment with Roberto Lacorte, Vice President and CEO of the Group founded in 2003 together with his brother Andrea.
Roberto, what happened in those last 12 months?
We lived an intense year, punctuated by so many satisfactions emerged from the relations with the investors and the market scenario. We try to maintain a continuous confrontation to introduce the company and explain our development plans, fulfilling all the obligations that regulate their presence. It is an area in which you can evaluate the way you act, thanks to the comparison with interlocutors who invest transversely in many sectors. This multidisciplinary aspect allows us to have very different visions, all useful to strengthen each decision making.
After one year, the feedback is positive and the market satisfied: the stock, which surpasses € 14 per share, has been appreciated by more than 40%, and the company’s capitalization has increased by almost 50%, if we consider that we started with a capitalization of 89 million, today we are around 144 million euros.
We talked about the duties that regulate the entry of a company on the stock market, but the impression is that PharmaNutra was already prepared for this management model.
PharmaNutra perfectly fitted to the procedures governing a listed company on the stock exchange, today it is a more solid and structured company able to continue this shared growth with the market. Duties and rules introduced with our introduction in the stock market are nothing revolutionary for us, because sharing the most important strategic decisions belongs to our DNA – see the presence of an enlarged board which not included only me and my brother, but also Dr. Carlo Volpi and other players – and also giving the opportunity to take part to the capital asset to people we consider important for the growth of the Group.
We’ve always had the inner conviction to give credit to people outside of the Lacorte family and this was already a first step towards empowering others, as well as reporting and confrontation, necessary and qualifying elements for any listed company. It represents the natural evolution of an attitude that is already part of the company.
When it comes to stock exchange, the numbers inevitably dominate. In reality, what shall we find behind these figures?
Relations with contractors are increasing, because PharmaNutra gets in touch with many people who are interested in betting on the company, from institutional investors to individuals shareholders, and with a professional team now part of the new company management structures. These are strong, constructive confrontations that enrich the value and in which human ability is maximized. This intense public relations activity has been highly appreciated by the market.
In these months, is there an episode to remember in particular?
Yes, at the recent Healthcare Forum in Milan, a round table that saw the participation of four listed companies from the healthcare sector, including PharmaNutra, and the participation of market analysts such as McKinsey and managers of Borsa Italiana. In that context, I was clearly told that Borsa Italiana was proud to have a company like ours on the market and that there is a need for a company with such an intense history, even if still relatively short, distinguished by such an important and deep growth.
During this forum, moreover, we also had the opportunity to highlight an extremely innovative and advanced method of which we are carriers: the Pre-Booking Company, an evolution of the SPAC.
What can we see if we look at the future of PharmaNutra?
Many ideas that are part of programs already shared with the market in the execution of our growth drivers, which are the internationalization of the group and the launch of new products, there is also the strengthening of the sales structure in Italy. The target is to go quickly towards a stabilization of the company, which according to the growth curve of capitalization is not very far, and then, after a reasonable period in AIM, to get in in the main market of Borsa Italiana where exchanges are more dense and large. This translates into a greater sensitivity in front of the changes in the company, therefore a more responsive market, which further enhances the company growth.
A company where you can still breathe a family spirit, in the best sense of the term.
Our daily goal is to be able to make coexisting growth and continuity and proximity with all the people who are with us from the beginning. A company is made by people and many have seen the birth of PharmaNutra with us, so we have to highlight the fact that our growth is based upon human values and relationships that go well beyond any commercial logic.
We were born through our investments and sacrifices with many ambitious intentions, also thanks to the passion and the professionalism of people who started with us. And we are proud of it. Among other things, during the Healthcare Forum mentioned above, it emerged that the model that has the greater attraction for institutional investors is precisely what is defined as “Family Public Company”, ie a listed company that is still managed by the family that created it. A company that has its own precise identity such as PharmaNutra and which does not pass from hand to hand, gradually denaturalizing itself going from an investment fund to another. Those things are very pleasing and are greatly appreciated.