Burberry checks out Hong Kong for an IPO

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 May, 2011, 12:00am


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British luxury goods group Burberry may follow Prada, Samsonite and Coach as the next big brand seeking a listing in Hong Kong.

The company has consulted a couple of investment banks about an initial public offering in the city, a Hong Kong newspaper said. But it had not decided whether the listing would be secondary or by way of introduction, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported yesterday.

The raincoat and handbag maker, best known for its camel, red and black check pattern, is listed in London with a market value of around GBP5.5 billion (HK$69.9 billion).

It operates 57 shops on the mainland and in Hong Kong and plans to increase the number to more than 100 in three to four years, the paper said. Burberry Group did not comment on the report yesterday.

'The story behind [the IPOs of luxury brands] still sounds attractive today, although investors' passion for these companies may diminish one day in case their pricing is over-high,' said Ben Kwong, chief operating officer of KGI Asia.

A number of local and international luxury goods companies have raised funds in Hong Kong or are planning IPOs.

Second-hand luxury goods seller Milan Station, which listed in Hong Kong on Monday, said it aimed to raise HK$200 million to expand its sales network across the border.

Fashion house Prada and luggage maker Samsonite plan to raise around HK$15 billion and HK$11 billion respectively in the city next month. American brand Coach is also interested in listing in Hong Kong. All hope to raise brand awareness on the mainland and benefit from a higher valuation in the city.

'Investors would be selective if there were more operators of the same sector emerging in the market. They will see which one is really popular in China and how fast they are growing,' Kwong said.

Jerry Pang Gangxiang, apparel analyst for Guotai Junan Securities, is optimistic about the prospects for luxury brands companies' stock.

'One single company cannot attract much attention. But more operators will be different. It would be easier for investors to understand more about the industry and compare the companies,' he said.

Earlier this week, Burberry reported a rise of 25 per cent in revenue to GBP1.5 billion for the year to this March. Net profit was GBP208 million, compared to GBP81 million a year earlier.


The year Burberry was founded by Thomas Burberry, a former draper's apprentice, who opened an outdoor attire store in Basingstoke, England