Sep 22, 2015
Italy's Versace may pick U.S. or Asia for listing
Sep 22, 2015
Fashion house Versace may pick the United States or Asia for its planned stock market listing, its chief executive said on Tuesday, following other prestigious Italian brands such as Prada and Ferrari.
Versace, in which private equity group Blackstone bought a 20 percent stake in 2014, is working on an initial public offering which a source close to the matter said could take place as early as next year.
The group expects to close 2015 with sales of more than 630 million euros ($703 million), up from 549 million euros last year, CEO Giangiacomo Ferraris said on Tuesday. He added however that both China and Russia were a concern.
He declined to give a timing for the float, saying it depended on external factors such as market conditions.
"But we're seriously working towards it," he told reporters on the sidelines of an event. "We want to be ready."
Ferraris said there were several options for the bourse listing.
"Our market shares in Asia are well distributed. Our investor Blackstone is American with offices in London, our brand is Italy-based so the range of possibilities is large. We'll decide when the moment comes," he said.
The group famous for its Medusa head logo returned to profit in 2011 after struggling for years following the murder, in 1997, of founder Gianni Versace. It is now led by creative director Donatella Versace.
"The (IPO's) goal is to ensure the long-term prospects of the company and reduce its dependence on the family," Ferraris said.
Milanese fashion house Prada picked Hong Kong in 2011 for its stock market listing, betting on fast-rising consumer demand in the world's second-largest economy. Luxury sports car maker Ferrari plans to list its shares in New York next month.
An economic slowdown in China, which in recent years has been the luxury sector's growth engine, is increasing the appeal of mature markets such as the United States for luxury brands.
The Russian economy in turn is seen contracting sharply this year, hit by the impact of international sanctions due to the crisis in Ukraine.
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