* Ferragamo could be first Italian IPO of 2011
* Group valued around 1.5 bln euros-analysts
* Aims to raise around 400 mln euros, below Prada-funds
* European peers PE average 21 times 2011 earnings
* Price range expected on Friday-sources
(Adds details, comments, background)
By Antonella Ciancio
MILAN, June 9 Italy's luxury goods maker
Salvatore Ferragamo said on Thursday it had received clearance
from market regulator Consob for what could be the first
initial public offering in Milan this year.
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 shoes have been worn by movie stars such
as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, could raise up to 400
million euros by selling 25 percent of its shares, three fund
managers told Reuters on Thursday. Prada's IPO on the Hong Kong
stock market is valued at up to $2.6 billion.
The company, which first considered floating in 2008, has
not publicly disclosed the exact timing for its IPO nor details
of how much it wants to sell.
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.
Swiss-Italian biotech group Philogen, autoparts distributor
Rhiag and upscale outerwear maker Moncler all shelved their IPO
plans in Milan in the last few months.
Ferragamo could also delay its listing if markets remain
nervous, a source told Reuters on Wednesday, but others close
to the offering said it had seen good interest from investors
during pre-marketing and still intended to go ahead.
The price range could be announced on Friday, according to
two sources close to the deal.
"The IPO will be going ahead as planned and the road show
will be next week," one of the sources said. Another source
said the roadshow for investors should start in London on
PRELIMINARY VALUATION BELOW PEERS-FUNDS
The group could be valued on par with top luxury peers LVMH
(LVMH.PA), Tod's (TOD.MI) and Burberry (BRBY.L), according to
an unpublished research report by JP Morgan, one of the
bookrunners for the IPO. [ID:nLDE7510ZZ]
However, the fund managers told Reuters a preliminary
valuation given to investors indicated the Ferragamo offer
could be valued at around 17.5 times forecast 2011 earnings.
They said this could be partly due to lower profitability
than that of peers, as well as an already significant exposure
to emerging markets.
British luxury goods group Burberry is traded at 23.2 times
its forecast 2011 earnings, LVMH at 19.8 times, and Tod's at
23.8 times, according to an analyst research report by
Mediobanca (MDBI.MI) seen by Reuters. At the top range, Prada's
IPO is being priced at 27 times projected 2011 earnings.
Ferragamo, which returned to profit last year, is expected
to post revenues of around 1.1 billion euros in 2013, with Asia
as a key driver for growth, analysts said.
Italian banks Mediobanca and Intesa Sanpaolo's Banca IMI,
as well as U.S. investment bank JP Morgan are global
coordinators and joint bookrunners for the offering.
(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, Nigel Tutt, Antonella
Ciancio, Astrid Wendlandt and Kylie Maclellan; Editing by