Tommy Hilfiger Corp. might seek a stock market listing this year, industry sources in London said.
Bankers were putting together the deal, a source said, although it could be delayed until the new year because of market conditions.
Meanwhile, a report in London's Daily Telegraph said Hilfiger would likely be floated in Amsterdam on Euronext, the pan-European stock exchange. Tommy Hilfiger Europe B.V. is registered in Amsterdam, and sources said that move would make sense.
In addition, Apax Partners, which owns Hilfiger, has tried to pitch the business at a higher level in Europe than in the U.S. Last winter, the brand unveiled a slick Regent Street flagship — its second in London after Sloane Street — and signed the French soccer star Thierry Henry to be its international brand ambassador and the face of its advertising campaign.
The company could be valued between $3 billion and $4 billion at the time of a float.
"It's so much easier to sell a company than to float it," said a source who asked not to be identified. "They may have already tried to sell, but a flotation may have been their only choice."
Another motive behind a sale could be a planned increase in the U.K. capital gains tax. Apax is based in the U.K., and in April 2008 the Labor government plans to raise the country's low capital gains tax to 18 percent from 10 percent.
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