The company that manages Lionel Messi’s clothing and lifestyle brand waThe year’s first Nasdaq IPO will take place on Friday (January 6) in the hope that the soccer superstar’s dazzling display at the World Cup last month will spur investors. (Update: The IPO has postponed with a new expected date for January 13th).
MGO Global, which aptly chose MGOL as its stock ticker, plans to price 1.5 million shares at $5 apiece, raising about $7.5 million on a market capitalization of $66 million.
It’s a lofty goal for a company co-founded in 2018 by Argentine-born Maximiliano Ojeda and American designer Ginny Hilfiger, sister of famed fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger. MGO currently only counts Messi as its client, so its success depends on the athlete’s performance and continued cooperation. Although Messi is the face of his namesake, he is not a shareholder in the business. Instead, their contract stipulates receives 12% of sales with a minimum guarantee of $4.2 million over three years.
“While it is our intention to continue to grow and expand our brand portfolio in the future, we are not currently negotiating or have any likely agreements to add additional assets to the Messi brand in our portfolio,” MGO wrote in the filing. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
MGO also operates in a crowded, competitive industry. The company itself does not manufacture any sports equipment, as Adidas holds the exclusive rights to any Messi-themed footwear or jerseys. In the SEC filing, the company also acknowledges that it is not yet profitable: “We have a history of operating losses and may continue to incur losses for the foreseeable future. We may not be able to generate sufficient net sales to achieve or maintain profitability.”
The accelerated rise of MGO Global
2018: MGO Global is co-founded by Ginny Hilger and Maximiliano Ojeda with the goal of harnessing the “fame, celebrity power and global influence of the world’s social networks of athletes, entertainers and other cultural icons”.
2019: MGO acquires the Messi brand, a line of clothing and accessories inspired by Lionel Messi, currently the company’s sole asset.
2022: MGO filed for an $8 million IPO, backed by Boustead and Sutter Securities.
2024: Messi’s current license agreement with MGO is ending and includes all current MGO products.
Person of Interest: Lionel Messi
Messi’s star power has certainly never been stronger. His Instagram post celebrating Argentina’s victory at the World Cup in Qatar last month became most popular photo in the history of the application, it has received more than 74 million likes (for comparison, Argentina has 45 million people). Messi’s home province of Santa Fè has seen a number of newborns named Lionel and Lionela increase by more than 50% in December compared to the previous month, and the soccer star is also leading recent polls for Argentina’s presidential election scheduled for later this year a two-digit number.
However, Messi’s future seems to remain in sports for now. Free agent this June, has several stores he speculated that Messi is heading to MLS as David Beckham’s Inter Miami FC side aggressively attempt to sign the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner. After his recent success, however, some news says Messi considering one-year extension at Paris St. Germain (PSG), his current club, in order to see further success in the UEFA Champions League.
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This story has been updated with the new IPO date, which was delayed after publication.