It’s Rumored That Luxury Fashion House Prada Is Looking For A Buyer
MILAN, ITALY — After LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton brought Tiffany & Co. last year for $16 billion (see it here), and recent reports that Kering held exploratory talks to buy Moncler (see it here), it is now rumored that Prada S.p.A. is looking for a buyer.
Last Thursday, a spokesperson for Prada denied the company was for sale.
But according to sources, Prada’s co-chief executive officers Patrizio Bertelli and his wife, creative director Miuccia Prada, flew to Paris last December to meet with Kering chief François-Henri Pinault. A separate source said that Compagnie Financiere Richemont may be another interested party.
The luxury giant, which specializes in hard luxury, and has a fashion and accessories division that includes Chloé and Dunhill, has been in an acquisitive mood of late, having purchased Buccellati last year and formed a joint venture with designer Alber Elbaz for a new fashion and lifestyle company.
Richemont declined to comment. The company should’ve reported third-quarter and Christmas trading figures last Friday.
This is not the first time that Prada and Richemont have been linked in a possible deal. Ten years ago Prada denied media reports it was in talks to sell a stake to Richemont. In 2011 the Italian company listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after several delays.
Its market capitalization is 74.08 billion Hong Kong dollars, or $9.5 billion. Richemont, which is quoted on the Swiss Stock Exchange, has a market cap of 40.23 billion Swiss francs, or $41.66 billion at current exchange.
In addition, Prada took the leap into online selling in Europe via the Richemont-owned Net-a-porter and the German company, Mytheresa.com.
Sources said LVMH took a serious look at Prada last year, but discussions stopped over the summer and no deal materialized.
Although Prada has always denied it has ever wanted to sell, speculation persists.
Full-price sales, a positive trend in wholesale and a strong performance of its ready-to-wear and footwear collections helped Prada S.p.A see gains in profits and revenues in the first half last year.
Net profits jumped 46.6 percent to 155 million euros, benefiting from the Patent Box tax relief relating to the years 2015 to 2019.
Sales rose 2 percent to 1.57 billion euros compared with 1.53 billion euros in the prior year. Prada has stopped seasonal markdowns and rationalized its wholesale channel, which were expected to provide results in the second half of the year and the first half of 2020. The group has also upped its investments in digital technology across the business.
Photos Credit: Monica Feudi / Indigital.tv