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Prada float imminent

By FashionUnited


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Prada is thought to be seeking advice for going public, and could be worth 4 bn euros, according to financial reports.

The Italian fashion house famous for its black nylon bags may sell shares in the first half of 2008 to cut debt and finance expansion, a Bloomberg report stated, declining to be identified because the plans aren't final.

"Prada has cleaned up its balance sheet and is doing very well,'' said Armando Branchini, vice president of Intercorporate SpA in Milan, a consulting company that specializes in the luxury market. Prospects are also good for the industry.''

The IPO would be the biggest in the luxury goods industry. Prada is focusing on its namesake line, Miu Miu and Church's, after selling the unprofitable Jil Sander and Helmut Lang labels last year. Demand for luxury goods is expected to grow at least 9 percent over the next two years, driven by wealthy Russian and Chinese consumers, Branchini said.