Ferragamo gets go-ahead for Milan IPO

MILAN Thu Jun 9, 2011 2:29pm EDT

A model displays a creation as part of Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2010/11 women's collection during Milan Fashion Week February 28, 2010. REUTERS/Max Rossi

A model displays a creation as part of Salvatore Ferragamo Fall/Winter 2010/11 women's collection during Milan Fashion Week February 28, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's Salvatore Ferragamo said on Thursday it had received clearance from market regulator Consob for its planned initial public offering in Milan.

The Tuscan family-run maker of fine leather shoes, valued by analysts at around 1.5 billion euros ($2.19 billion), is joining luxury goods peer Prada in tapping equity markets to fund expansion in fast-emerging markets.

Ferragamo, whose fine leather shoes have been worn by movie stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, has not disclosed the exact timing for its IPO nor details of how much it wants to sell.

The price range for the offer could be announced on Friday, two sources close to the deal told Reuters.

The group could be valued in line with top luxury goods companies LVMH (LVMH.PA), Tod's (TOD.MI) and Burberry (BRBY.L), according to analysts, but less than Prada, which aims to raise up to $2.6 billion euros in Hong Kong.

Ferragamo, which first planned to float in 2008, could become the first company to list on the Milan bourse this year, after Swiss-Italian biotech group Philogen, autoparts distributor Rhiag and upscale outerwear maker Moncler shelved their IPO plans to steer clear of potentially rocky markets.

The European market for new listings has had a difficult year, with more than 15 deals pulled, and many of those that were executed have fallen below their offer price.

This has made investors increasingly skeptical about taking part in new share sales unless they are offered at what is perceived as a considerable discount.

(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, Nigel Tutt, Antonella Ciancio, Astrid Wendlandt and Kylie Maclellan)

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