No capital will be raised through the secondary listing. Fast Retailing, which revealed its Hong Kong listing in January, has said it hopes to demonstrate its commitment to, and focus on, Asia through the listing, as well as to improve the company’s exposure to investors and customers in Asia, including China.
Analysts note that international growth, particularly in China, is a bright spot in Fast Retailing’s outlook. In the recent first quarter, the company posted weak performance from its Uniqlo Japan and U.S. Theory divisions, but Uniqlo International’s better-than-expected performance made up for the sluggishness. Profit growth in China and narrower losses in the U.S. helped boost results, said Dairo Murata, analyst at J.P. Morgan. Accelerated new store openings in China and elsewhere in Asia could provide greater-than-expected profit growth, Murata said. “We think the Asian Uniqlo business, centered on China, will do better than management expects in fiscal year 2014 and generate 34 percent operating profit growth a year,” Murata wrote in a recent note.
But if analysts are keen on the company’s expansion in Asia, Fast Retailing’s move onto the Hong Kong Stock Exchange may be set for a more muted response from investors, who are still hurting from the memory of the recent initial public offering of Huisheng International, a Chinese pork supplier that had a disappointing debut despite being massively oversubscribed.
Sentiment towards new listings in Hong Kong has been mixed, said Benjamin Collett, head of Asia and Japanese equities at Sunrise Brokers in Hong Kong, adding that strong brand names have an advantage. Fast Retailing, though a “biggish name,” is probably not strong enough on its own to support strong investor support. High-end names such as Prada and Graff are likely to attract more interest, he continued.
“Japan is on the move up and it was a good month in Hong Kong in February so it’s not a bad time to be launching some new paper, but I wouldn’t expect a retailer to be that hot right now, especially in Japan ahead of the consumption tax,” Collett said.
Still, Fast Retailing’s name has been all over the global news in the last few days following reports that it was in talks to buy J. Crew Group from TPG and Leonard Green & Partners. Neither Fast Retailing nor J. Crew has commented on the reports, but sources have said a deal could be finalized in 60 days.
If completed, a purchase of J. Crew would be a major stride forward in Fast Retailing’s stated goal of becoming the world’s largest apparel retailer. In addition, it might help accelerate J. Crew’s international expansion.
@fearofgod and @maxfieldla have teamed up on a pop-up installation. The store, located in the gallery space across from Maxfield’s Melrose Ave location, is the site of the brand’s House of God pop-up in which Fear of God founder @jerrylorenzo has created a church-inspired installation. A dozen vintage church pews sit in front of an LED screen playing 90s gospel singers in an effort to re-create an environment akin to a Southern Baptist Church, Lorenzo explained. Read more about the pop-up on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: Jennifer Johnson)
Known for his sleek, sophisticated American glamour, Norman Norell is the subject of an upcoming exhibition at @fitnyc. “Norell: Dean of American Fashion,” which runs from February 9 through April 14, will feature approximately 100 ensembles and accessories. His best work is exemplified by the designer’s glittering “mermaid” gowns frosted with thousands of hand-sewn sequins – like the one pictured. (📷: William Helburn) #wwdfashion
For pre-fall 2018, @balmain didn’t let go of the glitz. A crystal embroidered baseball jacket priced at around $40,000 hangs in the “couture” section of the brand’s first men’s pre-collection. Sporting the words “Balmain Army” across the back, the item took around two months to make. “When it was completed, it was like Christmas, it was like, ‘It’s done, it’s exactly what I wanted,’” said Balmain’s creative director @olivier_rousteing during a tour of the collection in a Paris showroom on Monday. #wwdfashion
Eighty degree temperatures and outdoor installations at the annual Art Basel Miami Beach called for bright, elevated beachwear. See more street style pictures on WWD.com. #theyarewearing #ABMB (📷: @lifeinreverie)
Following September’s emotional tribute to her brother Gianni, Donatella Versace wanted to bring the spring show’s deep sense of intimacy to her @versace_official pre-fall collection. Donatella found inspiration in Versace Palazzo in Milan and from Gianni’s opulent apartment. Archival patterns and new motifs were splashed on silk shirtdresses and fitted jersey frocks. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com. #wwdfashion
Demna Gvasalia continues to shake up the Paris fashion calendar — and experiment with new runway timetables for his @vetements_official brand. WWD has learned that Vetements plans to stage its next coed show for the fall 2018 season on January 19 during Men’s Fashion Week in the French capital. Details about the timing and venue have not been confirmed — stay tuned on WWD.com to catch the latest. #wwdnews (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
@zacposen's go-to holiday gift? Cookies! "I'll usually bake cookies and send them as a gift," said the designer, who recently released his cookbook "Cooking With Zac: Recipes from Rustic to Refined." Get the recipe for his Brown Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies via link in bio 🍪🍪🍪 #wwdeye #cookingwithzac
For @monsemaison’s pre-fall 2018 collection, Fernando Garcia and Laura Kim honed in on the brand’s many signatures — men’s wear, which was tweaked and feminized through deconstruction, proportion play and lots of bare shoulders. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
On Friday night, @yohjiyamamotoofficial received the Design for Asia Lifetime Achievement Award in Hong Kong. The 75-year-old designer has been celebrated for many years and is best known for his dark and avant-garde tailoring. “In my long career, in design, architecture, [I’ve been to] so many parties, this is the very first time that I have such a warm feeling, I really appreciate this,” Yamamoto said. #wwdfashion (📷: @dominiquemaitre)