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Tuesday, January 8, 2008


LONDON — Despite a sagging stock market and a slowdown at retail on both sides of the Atlantic, 2008 is shaping up to be the year of the fashion initial public offering.

Tommy Hilfiger Group may well be the first to take the plunge, with industry sources saying its planned IPO is on track for the first half of the year.

Hilfiger is expected to be followed by Prada, which, if it goes ahead this time, will likely wait until the second half.

Ferragamo also has unveiled plans to go public this year, and is expected to elaborate on them later this month. Industry sources here said Hilfiger's IPO is on track to take place on Euronext, the pan-European stock exchange that counts LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, PPR, Hermès, Christian Dior and Clarins among its listed companies.
The flotation is expected to value the American sportswear company at $3 billion to $4 billion.And Hilfiger, which is owned by the U.K.-based equity fund Apax Partners, has been rapidly getting its house in order in advance of going public.

First, last October, it inked a major deal with Macy's Inc., which will be the exclusive retailer of Tommy Hilfiger sportswear in the U.S. beginning this fall.

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