In November 2004, Prada, the $ 1.95 billion privately owned fashion house decided to postpone its much-awaited public issue for the third time.
Prada had planned to offer 30% of its shares on the Milan stock exchange to raise $2 billion and repay its huge $830 million debt.
The debt had been accumulated while buying other luxury brands, such as Fendi, Jil Sander, and Helmut Lang, as well as building new stores and factories to expand the group's business since 1999.
But at the same time, Bertelli who was used to controlling the business tightly, was not comfortable with the idea of becoming accountable to public investors.
Prada: To IPO or Not to IPO: That Is the Question
Meanwhile, Jil Sanders and Helmuth Lang, the designers of the brands named after them, quit in November 2004 and January 2005 respectively. Prada, the group's most profitable brand, was subsidizing all the loss making acquisitions.
Would Bertelli and his star designer, wife Miuccia Prada (Miuccia), widely perceived to be the group's most bankable asset, be able to turn things around for Prada?
Webinar - Prada's Hong Kong IPO
Would they go ahead and make the IPO and demonstrate that they were serious about growth...