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Is Prada Considering Real Estate Spin-Off?

MILAN — When Patrizio Bertelli announced that Prada Group was working to lower its debt during an IWC for Prada watch launch last Thursday, he might have been referring to a real estate spin-off venture.<br><br>Although the company would not...

MILAN — When Patrizio Bertelli announced that Prada Group was working to lower its debt during an IWC for Prada watch launch last Thursday, he might have been referring to a real estate spin-off venture.

This story first appeared in the October 21, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Although the company would not confirm that it’s studying the sale of its real estate assets, a Prada spokeswoman said the company was “considering different options” to help reduce its debt, which is estimated between $800 million and $840 million.

As reported, under the terms of a potential plan, Prada would confer its real estate assets — which are estimated at $556.3 million — to a special-purpose vehicle, which would be jointly owned by a bank. This vehicle would then issue bonds guaranteed by the value of the property.

Separately, the spokeswoman denied a story in the weekly Italian magazine Il Mondo, which reported that the Prada Group was also studying the possibility of passing ownership of the Miu Miu brand to Miuccia Prada. Currently, a Luxembourg-based company, which is owned by Miuccia Prada, licenses the Miu Miu label to Prada Group. The license is set to expire in 2016.