Prada is open to M&A opportunities

Prada is prepared to evaluate acquisitions as candidates arise in the luxury sector, according to Lorenzo Bertelli, heir to the Italian billionaire family.

“We have been and will always be open to considering opportunities,” Bertelli told reporters Tuesday at the opening of a knitwear factory in Torgiano, Italy.

Bertelli, the son of Patrizio Bertelli and Miuccia Prada, declined to comment specifically when asked about one potential target that could arise in coming years, Giorgio Armani SpA. Bertelli, who is head of social responsibility for Prada, said he wasn’t aware of founder Giorgio Armani’s plan for his business.

Armani last month hinted at possible changes for his Italian fashion empire once he’s no longer in charge. The Italian design impresario, who is approaching his 90th birthday, told Bloomberg News then that he wouldn’t rule out a merger for his fashion empire.

His comments fueled speculation about the future of the Italian luxury industry, where many companies are still independent and family-controlled — including Salvatore Ferragamo SpA, Prada SpA, Moncler SpA and Ermenegildo Zegna NV. All lack the scale of powerful, acquisitive French rivals LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Kering SA.

Prada, for its part, has has made a string of investments in manufacturing suppliers in Italy over recent years, as it works to increase internal production and shorten its supply chain.

The company remains committed to investing in Italy, Chief Executive Officer Andrea Guerra said at Tuesday’s event. By aggregating small suppliers, the company can provide needed scale and stability, he said.

Prada, which also owns Miu Miu, reported a jump in first-quarter sales last month, as it continued to outperform its biggest rivals.

The solid results compared with a weak performance at French rival Kering, whose biggest label Gucci is seeking to reposition itself in a more exclusive segment.

Via Bloomberg

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