Tue, May 24, 2011 - Page 11 News List

Prada ready to debut on HK market next month

CLAMORING FOR ATTENTION:Milan Station’s IPO was oversubscribed more than 2,100 times and its share prices soared by up to 77% on its HK debut yesterday

AFP, HONG KONG

Italian luxury fashion house Prada will make its market debut on the Hong Kong stock exchange on June 24, in a highly anticipated offering looking to raise up to US$2 billion.

In the latest move by high-end fashion companies to tap the Chinese market, the family-owned giant plans to start book--building for institutional investors on June 6 and launch its public offering eight days later.

The firm will price its deal on June 17, Dow Jones Newswires quoted a term sheet as saying, and is planning to use proceeds to expand its sales network, increase floor space, repay bank loans and supplement working capital.

A Prada spokeswoman in Hong Kong said she had yet to receive any official statement from the company’s Milan headquarters and could not confirm details of the IPO.

The company reportedly received approval from Hong Kong’s market regulators last week for a plan to sell 20 percent of its shares. The move would value the group at as much as 8 billion euros (US$11.3 billion).

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

Prada announced in January that it would make its first public listing on the Hong Kong bourse in a sign of Asia’s growing appetite for designer goods and the company’s desire to capitalize on the cash-rich Chinese market.

China is the world’s fastest-growing market for luxury goods and is forecast to become the world’s top buyer of products such as cosmetics, handbags, watches, shoes and clothes by 2015, according to consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Prada will join a slew of other luxury fashion brands also eyeing a listing in Hong Kong, including US upscale handbag maker Coach and luggage maker Samsonite.

Prada’s listing plan comes as second-hand luxury handbag retailer Milan Station (米蘭站) made a successful debut in Hong Kong yesterday, with share prices soaring as much as 77 percent after its IPO was oversubscribed more than 2,100 times.

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