Pencil it in. The temporary Moleskine store at Milan’s Stazione Centrale. (Photo: Zetalab)
No matter how you pronounce it, Moleskine has big plans for its little notebooks. The Milan-based company, which affects a storied history but in fact was created by design-savvy publisher Francesco Francheschi in 1997 to revive the sleek jotters favored by the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, has set its sights on an IPO. Private equity firm Syntegra Capital, which acquired a majority (68%) stake in Moleskine in 2006 and has watched annual revenues climb to more than $250 million, plans to file listing documents in early September with an eye to a market debut (on Milan’s Borsa) in the fourth quarter. And while Moleskine already distributes its growing product assortment—tote bags! pens! iPad cases! pralines!—through approximately 25,000 accounts worldwide, the company is testing the retail waters. This month marked the debut of two Moleskine pop-up shops. The sleek temporary stores bowed last week in train stations in Milan (pictured) and Rome.