Sat, May 21, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Prada given green light for HK IPO

BETTING ON ASIA:The Milan-based group filed a request for its highly anticipated IPO in March, an offer in which it plans to sell 20 percent of its shares

Bloomberg and AFP, HONG KONG

Italian luxury fashion house Prada has been given the green light to launch an initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong next month in which it aims to raise up to US$2 billion, a report said yesterday.

The family-owned fashion giant is looking to begin bookbuilding for institutional investors in the second week of next month after receiving regulatory approval, Dow Jones Newswires reported, quoting an unnamed source.

The Hong Kong Stock Exchange said it would not comment on any listing application status, while Prada’s spokeswoman in Hong Kong did not immediately return telephone calls.

The Milan-based group filed a request for its highly anticipated public offering in March, an offer in which it plans to sell 20 percent of its shares. The move would value the group at up to 8 billion euros (US$11.3 billion).

BRANDS

Prada, which includes the Prada, Miu Miu, Church’s and Car Shoe brands is 95 percent controlled by the Prada family and the company’s executives.

Prada announced in January it would make its first public listing on the Hong Kong bourse in a sign of Asia’s growing appetite for designer goods, especially to tap the Chinese market.

Prada follows European companies including L’Occitane International SA in seeking to sell shares in Hong Kong, where IPOs hit a record high last year. By listing there, the Italian company will tap local funds and individual investors betting on the luxury-goods industry’s growth in Asia. Bag makers Coach Inc and Samsonite LLC are also planning listings in Hong Kong.

FASTEST-GROWING MARKET

China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury goods.

It is forecast to be the world’s top buyer of products such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, shoes and clothes by 2015, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Consulting company Bain & Co said this month that luxury goods sales in China would rise 25 percent to 11.5 billion euros (US$16.5 billion) this year.

The country is on course to become the world’s third-largest luxury market in five years, it said.

Prada’s net income more than doubled to 250.8 million euros last year on growth in the Asia-Pacific region, where sales jumped 63 percent. Total revenue increased 31 percent to 2.05 billion euros, the company said on March 28.

Prada, which postponed plans to list in 2008 because of adverse market conditions, is controlled by chief executive Patrizio Bertelli, his wife, Miuccia Prada, and her family.

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