Fashion group Prada said it plans to list its shares in the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, as it looks to exploit its name in Asia where it sells a sizeable chunk of its brands.
Analysts say that the initial public offer could value Prada at more than $8 billion. With demand for luxury goods on the rise in Asia, Prada has bargained that the timing of the listing would be ideal.
Chief executive Patrizio Bertelli said in a statement: “Confident in the development of the group, we can now face the coming challenges with serenity and seize the best opportunities offered by the international capital markets.”
Despite Prada’s intention, some are still sceptical about the listing due to the fact that it has cancelled plans for an IPO three times. Nevertheless, all previous plans were for a listing in Milan, whereas the latest is the first time Hong Kong has been favoured. Some also feel that Prada might have little choice to list given its huge debt, estimated at €1 billion.
If this listing is successful, it would make Prada the first Italian company to be listed in Hong Kong. Last year, French skincare products maker L’Occitane had floated its shares in the city.
With emerging markets witnessing a rise in the number of wealthy people, many say Prada’s plan to list in Hong Kong and not Milan is to gain a higher valuation of its assets.
Prada was launched in 1913 by Mario Prada and his brother Martino as a leather goods shop. The Milan-based company is now controlled by the husband-wife team of Miuccia Prada (pictured) and Patrizio Bertelli, who own 95% of the business, with the rest held by Italian bank Intesa Sanpaola.
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