Aug 4, 2009
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Prada: Qatar interested in a 30% stake

Aug 4, 2009

MILAN, 4 August 2009 (AFP) – The sovereign wealth funds of the emirate of Qatar are interested in taking a stake of around 30% in Italian luxury group Prada which has abandoned its planned offering on the stock market, stated Italian daily newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Tuesday 4 August.

Prada autumn-winter 2009/2010

“The sovereign wealth fund of Qatar (Qatar Investment Authority) is knocking on Prada’s door. The objective: to take a minority stake-holding of around 30% in the label’s capital,” said, citing banking sources.

However, “for the moment, there have not been formal negotiations”, added the newspaper.

Questioned by the daily paper, Prada did not confirm the story.

According to Il Sole, the Prada family and CEO of the group Patrizio Bertelli, which currently own the business, will demand a large amount to part with a minority stake.

Whereas the original plan was to float the group on the stock market, the company has recently back-peddled as a result of unstable financial markets.

In 2008, the net profit of the group, which owns the labels Prada, Miu Miu and Church’s, was €98.8 million, a decrease of some 22% on the €127 million seen in 2007. Its sales also dropped by 0.7% to €1,648 billion.

The sovereign wealth funds of Qatar manage resources which, in the absence of any official figure, are estimated to be worth around $50 billion.

The oil rich emirate is increasing its overseas investment. It should take around 17% of the capital of German automobile group Volkswagen as well as an involvement with Porsche. Furthermore, the fund is already a shareholder of British bank Barclay’s.

By Jonathan Fulwell (Source: AFP)

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