Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Juice: Prada is Coming to the Stock Market.

Prada Adds Some Fashion Sense to the Stock Market.
The Italian fashion house Prada, which has shelved plans to go public five times since 2001, says it will try again next year.

The company said today that its board has approved plans to list on the Milan stock market. It has named Intesa Sanpaolo, UniCredit, and Goldman Sachs as joint global coordinators and bookrunners. Mediobanca will be an adviser.

According to Women's Wear Daily, Prada's chief executive, Patrizio Bertelli, said in a statement, "We are heading toward a new era in the company's history, with solid development potential on the basis of strong momentum already shown by our results in the first semester of 2007."

Most of Prada, which also includes the Miu Miu label and Church's shoes, is owned by Miuccia Prada, her partner Bertelli, and members of their family. The company earned $104 million in 2006.

Last year, the company sold a 5 percent stake to Banca Intesa, valuing Prada at 2 billion euros, or nearly $3 billion.

Luxury-goods companies have done well in recent years. But the housing slump and credit crunch, which have already weighed on consumer spending in general, may start to move up the income ladder. Still, demand from the new rich in Russia and Asia may continue to stoke demand for fashion labels—and perhaps demand for Prada shares next year, as well.



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