PRADA proceeds with IPO in Hong Kong

The board of Italian fashion company Prada SpA gave the go-ahead on Thursday to its much-awaited initial public offering in Hong Kong, a source with first hand knowledge of the matter said, as reported by Reuters.

If successful, the deal would make Prada the biggest European fashion brand to float its shares in more than a decade and the first Italian company to be listed in Hong Kong. Prada, which cancelled plans to come to market at least three times in recent years due to poor market conditions, could be worth between 5 billion euros and 6 billion, analysts estimate.

Analysts estimate Prada could aim to raise 1.2 billion euros by selling a third of its shares at a multiple of 10 times projected 2010 core earnings.

The flotation would also help the company fund its expansion in Asia, where Prada expects sales to overtake those in Europe over the next three years.