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Category winner: Ferrari: The 2015 Initial Public Offering

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This case won the Finance, Accounting and Control category at The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2021. #CaseAwards2021

In conversation with... Michael J Schill

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic we were sadly unable to visit Michael to present his award in person.

However, Michael joined our Director, Richard McCracken, from the US to discuss his winning case.

The full conversation can be watched on the right, or each section can be viewed separately below:

The case

FerrariWho – the protagonists

The late Sergio Marchionne (1952-2018), who was chairman of Ferrari and CEO of its parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV (FCA).


Ferrari is a famous and exclusive Italian brand, known for its production of highly desirable sports road cars, and being the most successful Formula One racing team of all time.

Since 1968, Fiat had owned 50% of the company, increasing their sake to 90% after Ferrari founder, Enzo Ferrari, died in 1988.


Marchionne’s plan was to list Ferrari on the New York Stock Exchange, with an eventual listing in Milan.

Selling 10% of Ferrari’s shares in an initial public offering (IPO) would see FCA receive the money raised from the IPO.


20 October 2015, the day before what was anticipated to be the first day of public trading.


Ferrari’s headquarters are located in the Italian town of Maranello, but their cars are sold to the elite all over the world.

Ferrari hqKey quote

“The Ferrari is a dream – people dream of owning this special vehicle, and for most people it will remain a dream apart from those lucky few.” – Enzo Ferrari.

What next?

Marchionne was wondering whether he’d set the stock price too low, as the IPO was expected to be as much as 10 times oversubscribed.

Money might be left on the table due to this decision, but price the stock too high, and a message of imprudence to the investment community would be set, risking losing subsequent upsurges in price.

Instructor viewpoint

Discover how this case works in the classroom.

Sofia Ramos“The Ferrari: The 2015 Initial Public Offering case prompts students to ask themselves about the coherence between valuation, company growth strategy and the glamour of luxury brands. The case requests students to use two valuation methods to provide the estimation of the value of Ferrari. Students’ impulse is to give the attributes of the car to the stock. But why should investors be willing to pay a high price for Ferrari?

“I like the case because it creates tension, as students face the dilemma of what is the right business profile of Ferrari and how its exclusivity strategy impacts value. Students learn to distinguish between the core drivers of financial valuation and the buzz marketing.”

Sofia Ramos, Associate Professor of Finance at ESSEC Business School.

The authors


Michael J Schill and Jenny Craddock

This is Michael and Jenny’s first Award, with Darden School of Business bagging their sixth.

Darden boast an impressive record in the Finance category, having previously won the trophy in 1996, 2006 and 2014.

Worldwide appeal

Michael said: “We are delighted that this case is being used in classrooms across the world to build student financial management understanding.

“Good cases are simply contexts that successfully blend high student interest and engagement with appropriate ambiguity around key teaching objectives.

“We hope that this case meets at a high level of both of those joint objectives.”

Value of Ferrari

Value of FerrariMichael continued: “The purpose of the case is to invite students to model the value of Ferrari in light of Ferrari Chairman Sergio Marchionne’s interest in expanding production despite the company’s long-standing tradition of severely limited-production strategy to maintain an exclusive brand image.

“The case is also designed to showcase corporate valuation using discounted cash flow and peer-company market multiples for a company that exists in two sectors: automotive and luxury goods.”

About the authors

Michael J Schill is the Sponsors Professorship of Business Administration at University of Virginia Darden School of Business.
e Schill@virginia.edu

Jenny Craddock is a member of the Case Writing Research Group at Darden.
e CraddockJ@darden.virginia.edu

Interested in finding out more?

Download the case and teaching note

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Ferrari: The 2015 Initial Public Offering
Ref UVA-F-1775

Teaching note
Ref UVA-F-1775TN


View all the 2021 winners