Filed under: Apparel
Earlier in the year, rumors swirled about a potential Prada IPO, divesting the company of a third of its shares and forcing the Prada family to reduce drastically its 95% stake. It's not news that the design house needs cash -- experts have criticized the house for neglecting to stake a claim in burgeoning Asian markets, and the house is in debt after a 1999 shopping spree that included Jil Sander and Helmut Lang. Enterprising CEO Patrizio Bertelli (husband to design brainiac Miuccia Prada) noted after the New Year that Prada might hit the chopping block in Milan by year's end.
And yet, Prada may need to postpone its public offering another time (it avoided an IPO following the 9/11 attacks), as experts estimate its worth at almost $2 billion less than they predicted earlier in the year. Though some hope Prada can withstand a withering economy and ride out 2008, its significant debt may make such a goal as out of reach as one of the house's iconic Fairy Bags.