Egana International (Holdings) chairman Hans-Joerg Seeberger says he plans to increase the operations of his privately owned leather business before the enlarged leather company is floated on the stock exchange next year. Mr Seeberger yesterday said a merger with 22 per cent-owned jewellery retailer Peace Mark (Holdings) was in the making. This would combine his majority-owned leather materials and garments manufacturing with Peace Mark's leather bag making. Mr Seeberger said the leather arm, founded 20 years ago, would include 'several joint ventures' with two Japan-listed conglomerates. Peace Mark financial controller Kevin Tsang Kwong-chiu said the merger would widen the company's distribution network and product range. Peace Mark's leather bags were distributed mainly to the United States while Mr Seeberger's leather products were exported to Europe. Egana director David Wong Wai-kwong said Egana was in talks with four mainland-backed companies on forging joint ventures across the border. Egana director Peter Lee Ka-yue said: 'We are not in a rush to tie up with Chinese companies. 'After all, our main market is in Europe and US.' He did not rule out Egana selling shares to any of these parties.