Prada cuts price to get IPO down catwalk

Italian fashion house Prada has made it down the stock-market catwalk at its fifth attempt – but only after cutting the price of its listing by a fifth at the last minute.

Prada's listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange yesterday saw it raise £1.3bn after it priced its stock right at the bottom of the range set earlier this week. It had been expected to raise as much as £1.6bn.

While Prada has impressed investors with a series of glitzy events in the run-up to the IPO, including a fashion show for key fund managers, volatility on stock markets around the world in the past few days came at the worst possible moment for the company. Market nervousness also hit the Hong Kong flotation of Samsonite, the luggage company, on Wednesday.

Prada's was also hit when it warned investors they would have to pay Italian capital gains tax on profits made from selling its shares as well as income tax on dividends at a rate of up to 27 per cent. Private investors in Hong Kong, often active participants in IPOs, do not usually pay such levies.

Still, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli, who run the family company with a controlling stake in Prada, will be relieved to have got the fundraising away. Previous Prada IPOs have been derailed by unforeseen events such as 2001's terrorist attacks in the US.

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