Prada Eyes Hong Kong IPO

Prada SpA has disclosed plans to list its shares in Hong Kong, the first Italian company to do so, reports the Wall Street Journal.


The newspaper says the listing could value Prada at over €6 billion (US$8.24 billion). The Italian fashion house's market valuation would likely be higher in Hong Kong than elsewhere, because investors in the region see the growth potential and are eager to be a part of it, says the Journal, citing analysts.


"We can now face the coming challenges with serenity and seize the best opportunities offered by the international capital markets," Prada Chief Executive Patrizio Bertelli says in a statement obtained by the Journal.


The company has made several unsucessful attempts to list shares, first in 2001, then again in 2002 and 2007. Its efforts were derailed each time by deteriorating market conditions.


Prada is joining a host of foreign companies that are choosing to list in Hong Kong instead of their home markets. French skin-care chain L'Occitane International SA was the first French firm to list in Hong Kong last year.


Since Hong Kong has the only Chinese exchange that is fully open to foreign investors, an increasing amount of global investors have set their sights on this bourse as they shift funds towards China and other emerging markets. 






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