MILAN — A fresh injection of cash is giving Prada a breather.
The luxury goods group said Wednesday that ITMD Investments B.V., the company that controls Prada, signed a loan agreement with a pool of Italian banks — Banca Intesa, Unicredito, Centrobanca and Banca Popolare di Lodi — that will provide funding for 800 million euros, or $960 million at current exchange. The company declined to provide further details, namely when the new loan will need to be repaid.
The funds will help Prada meet its most pressing deadline, a bond of 700 million euros, or $840 million, due to expire on Monday. The bond was issued in December 2001 by Deutsche Bank on behalf of ITMD Investments, following Prada's spending spree in the late Nineties, when it added brands such as Jil Sander and Helmut Lang to its stable.
At the end of May, Prada declined to release debt figures when reporting its year-end results. Net financial debt stood at 675 million euros, or $810 million, at the end of 2003. The company had set a goal to reduce its debts to less than 300 million euros, or $360 million, by the end of 2004.
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