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Fashion group eyes Middle East expansion

Family-controlled luxury goods maker Prada announced on 28 April that it has formed a joint venture with a company in the United Arab Emirates, which is Prada's first attempt to expand in the Middle East.

Family-controlled luxury goods maker Prada announced on 28 April that it has formed a joint venture with a company in the United Arab Emirates, which is Prada’s first attempt to expand in the Middle East.

Prada, controlled by the husband-wife team of Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, said in a statement that it has signed a joint venture agreement with Dubai-based Al Tayer Insignia to distribute its brands in the Middle East. Prada doesn’t have any directly operated stores in the region so far.

Through its tie-up with Al Tayer Insignia – which is the largest luxury retailer in the Middle East – the Italian group will open its Prada and Miu Miu stores across the region, with an aim to take advantage of the market potential.

This latest venture is another move by Prada to expand outside its home markets of Italy and Europe. The Milan-based group had announced in January that it plans to list its shares in Hong Kong – analysts speculated that the shift from Milan to Hong Kong was to gain a higher valuation of its assets (Continue reading here).

Prada was launched in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino as a leather goods shop. Miuccia Prada is the third-generation of the founding family who controls the business with her husband – they together own 95% of Prada. The remaining 5% is held by Italian bank Intesa Sanpaola.

Prada had 2010 sales of €2.05 billion, up by 31% compared to the year before.
 

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