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Minor Delay for Prada IPO

LONDON -- Prada is planning to push the date of its initial public offering back by about two weeks, with trading due to start in mid-July, according to banking sources.<P>A Prada spokeswoman declined to comment.<P>Prada has never confirmed a date for...

LONDON — Prada is planning to push the date of its initial public offering back by about two weeks, with trading due to start in mid-July, according to banking sources.

A Prada spokeswoman declined to comment.

Prada has never confirmed a date for the start of its road show, but it was believed to be around June 17. The sources said the road show will now most likely kick off on or around July 1. The reason for the change is technical: Prada didn’t want its IPO to conflict with that of the spinoff of Pirelli’s real estate division, which is due to kick off around the same time, the sources said. A major Italian beauty company reportedly is looking to float an IPO this summer as well.

“The issue is purely one of timing for Prada and for the banks. There is another IPO taking place around the same time — and involving some of the banks that Prada is working with — so Prada has decided to postpone the offer by a few weeks,” said one source.

As reported, Prada plans to float a minority stake — and no more than 40 percent — of its shares on the Milan Bourse. BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank and Intesa BCI would be joint global coordinators, joint book-runners and joint sponsors of the listing.

Financial analysts here said Prada’s new dates would not necessarily conflict with Burberry’s IPO which, as reported, is scheduled to kick off on June 24, with trading set to begin in mid-July. Burberry plans to list roughly 25 percent of its shares on the London Stock Exchange.

“Investors are always interested in a good story, good value and good management,” said one London-based analyst. “The two IPOs were going to take place around the same time anyway, so I don’t think Prada’s date change makes much of a difference.”

Meanwhile, Prada issued a statement Wednesday saying it had sold the organization that manages Prada’s Luna Rossa boats to Maestrale Holding Srl, which is wholly owned by the Prada family. The firm will remain a sponsor of the Luna Rossa boats, however, which are taking part in the next America’s Cup races. The statement said Prada plans to put up $36.6 million to sponsor the boats in the next races, which begin later this year.

In other Prada news, the big sale of old Prada merchandise taking place in London has been abruptly called off. As reported last week, a company known as Stockpile Ltd. was flogging Prada merchandise at up to 70 percent off during a sale that was not authorized by Prada.

On Wednesday, Prada issued a statement saying that Stockpile had ceased “the unauthorized sale of old Prada stock from the 1998 and 1999 collections, which had been accumulated from the European market.”

A Prada spokeswoman said the company had gone to court in the U.K. to try to block the sale, which began two weeks ago and was due to last another four weeks. A judge was to decide later this week whether to issue an injunction against Stockpile, which was selling some 25,000 Prada units. A Stockpile spokesman could not be reached for comment.”