If rumours are to be believed, British restaurant tycoon Richard Caring is in secret talks to buy Prada. Dick owns The Ivy, Le Caprice and also the legendary Annabel’s nightclub and is reputed to be up against at least two private equity firms, if he does make a bid for the Italian fashion house. Caring made his fortune supplying apparel to clients like Sir Philip Green, owner of Arcadia.
Meanwhile, Prada has denied these rumours and has, instead, indicated that an IPO is on the horizon. The company first announced its intention to go public in 2000 and has since postponed an IPO four times. Prada told the FT that an IPO could come in either 2008 or 2009 and that it had no interest in selling to a private equity firm or private investor. Last December, Prada was valued at â‚¬2 billion, however, the FT estimates that the company could now be worth â‚¬3 billion in the current luxury-hungry climate.