MILAN — Prada SpA is not considering the sale of a minority stake to a Dubai-based investor and still intends to list when the markets improve, despite newspaper reports suggesting otherwise, a company spokesman said.

This story first appeared in the September 25, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

A report by Bloomberg printed in Wednesday’s International Herald Tribune said Prada might explore alternatives to an initial public offering in light of current market conditions and linked talks between Prada and Barneys New York owner Istithmar World PJSC to the sale of a minority stake in the Italian fashion house.

However, a Prada spokesman told WWD: “There’s no plan B. Our objective remains the listing….These were preliminary talks with Istithmar regarding a possible midterm [retail] partnership in the Middle East and did not include entering Prada’s capital.”

The spokesman also underlined that Goldman Sachs’ remit remained as an adviser on Prada’s listing and did not extend to developing an expansion plan for the fashion group, contrary to reports by Bloomberg sources.

Prada chairman and chief executive officer Patrizio Bertelli said last week that “the Bourse continues to be our objective. Prada is ready for the listing, but naturally not until the financial markets return to normal.”

Salvatore Ferragamo ceo Michele Norsa echoed those sentiments Tuesday, suggesting his company’s equally anticipated IPO would only proceed when economic conditions improved.