Retailing, Franchising, and Consumerism Business Intelligence in China

Prada Denies Shareholding By Chinese Merchant

According to reports in Chinese local media, Lu Qiang, president of Shanghai-based brand product discount store operator Foxtown, has claimed that he has acquired a 13% stake in the Italian fashion company Prada. However, Prada has denied this news.

The Economic Observer, a weekly Chinese newspaper, previously reported that Lu has been buying shares of Prada over the last two years and he has indirectly acquired a 13% stake in the company. Lu said that if he can acquire at most a 20% additional stake in Prada, he will become the controlling shareholder of the world's leading luxury company.

The report also said that Lu planned to buy stakes in Prada held by its creditor bank for EUR450 million, but Prada raised the quoted price and the acquisition cost has increased to between EUR600 million and EUR700 million. If he cannot complete the acquisition and realize the holding of Prada in one week, he will sell his entire stake in the company, said Lu.

However, an executive from Prada told local media that the report of Lu's holding of a 13% stake in Prada is completely inconsistent with the facts. The executive said that none of the members of the Prada family had sold any shares of the company. At present, 94.89% of shares of Prada are owned by the Prada family and Mr. Bertelli, husband of Miucha Prada, while 5% is held by Intesa Sanpaulo banking group.

According to Sebastian Suhl, CEO of Prada, the company currently has 12 Prada specialty stores as well as three stores under the brand of Miu Miu, a sub-brand of the company, in mainland China.

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