Designer brands continue to chase the Asian markets

Asia continues to be the market that luxury and designer brand manufacturers covet, especially famous names originating from Italy. In the last three years alone, companies such as Prada, Bulgari, Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo and Tod’s have either been linked to an IPO, have actually listed or have had external investors acquire some or all of their shares. The most recent company linked to either a sale or a possible IPO is Versace. Yesterday Gian Giacomo Ferraris, the company’s chief executive, was quoted as saying “that the Versace family may consider opening the company to outside investors in order to help fund growth” in an interview with Reuters.

No prizes for guessing which market he referenced as being an area for potential – yes you guessed it – Asia. On one hand you have evidence that the sales growth of luxury goods was considerably lower in 2012, yet analysts continue to forecast growth of between 7.0 per cent and 9.0 per cent for the sector, so it’s completely understandable why the luxury brands look so keenly to Asian markets.

Should the Versace family decide that their preferred route was to sell only a small stake via the public markets, then no doubt the Singapore and Hong Kong Stock Exchanges would be widely tipped for any potential listing in other to further capitalise on strong demand for the Versace brand from these markets.

Filed under: Europe, fashion, dealmaking