Prada, the Italian fashion house controlled by the husband and wife team of Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, are looking at tapping the public markets to raise money for expansion and alleviate debt.
Reports said Prada is considering listing in Hong Kong as the company targets strong growth in China, likely to be the biggest luxury market in the world in the next five years.
A listing would also help Prada offset estimated debt of €1.4 billion built up during the 1990s through a series of ill-timed acquisitions.
Miuccia Prada (pictured) and Patrizio Bertelli currently own 95% of the share capital in Prada; Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo owns the rest.
Analysts reckon Prada would be worth between €4-7 billion, given first half revenues and brand value.
The move comes after Pandora, a Danish jewellery maker 40% owned by the Enevoldsen family, listed in Copenhagen. The listing was one of the biggest this year in Europe, with market capitalisation reaching DRr33 billion (€4.4 billion) on the first day of trading.
Prada had planned to list before, including back in 2001, but the events of September 11 intervened then.
It has been rumoured to be considering a listing on several subsequent occasions however last year the family denied it was planning an IPO. (Continue reading here)
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