Prada to wait till summer

Prada SpA, the Italian fashion label making its fourth attempt to go public, isn't planning to sell shares in an initial offering before the summer, Chief Executive Officer Patrizio Bertelli said.

"We aren't in a hurry," Bertelli told Italian news agencies Ansa and Radiocor at a meeting yesterday in Milan. His comments were confirmed by Prada spokesman Andrea Gaudenzi. Bertelli said the company still intends to sell shares. "It's a matter of picking the right moment,'' he said.

More than 80 companies worldwide, including Tommy Hilfiger Corp., the fashion brand owned by Apax Partners Worldwide LLP, have delayed or canceled initial public offerings this year because of market volatility. Loans used to fund the transactions dried up as subprime-mortgage defaults sparked a worldwide credit crisis. Swings in share prices also have made it harder to value shares.

Luxury labels Damiani SpA and Aeffe SpA are both trading below their IPO prices after their debuts in Milan last year. Salvatore Ferragamo Spa, the luxury shoemaker for celebrities including Audrey Hepburn, Madonna and Zhang Ziyi, said last month it will decide within two months whether to delay plans for a public offering announced in February.

Prada, the maker of Miu Miu bags and Church's shoes, said last month that 2007 profit rose 66 percent on stronger sales of leather goods and accessories. It hired Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Intesa Sanpaolo SpA and UniCredit SpA last year to arrange the offering after scrapping three previous efforts in the past decade because of market conditions.