Catwalk powerhouse Prada moved a step closer to its planned $2 billion initial public offering after receiving approval to list its shares in Hong Kong, two sources with direct knowledge of the plan said on Friday.

The Italian luxury goods company, known for its colorful Miu Miu dresses, Prada handbags and men's shoes, received the go-ahead after a meeting on Thursday night with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange's listing committee.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media.
The IPO would be the first for an Italian company in Hong Kong, which has attracted global luxury brands and consumer companies such as Samsonite, Coach (COH) and L'Occitane.

Luxury goods companies looking to go public this year include British shoemaker Jimmy Choo, with a Hong Kong IPO, as well as Tuscan leather goods maker Salvatore Ferragamo and outerwear maker Moncler that are looking to list in Milan.

Milan-based Prada would seek a valuation of around 15 times 2010 core earnings, above the 12.5 times average of the luxury sector, sources told Reuters in late March. The company posted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of around 536 million euros in the fiscal year ended on January 31.

A boom in Chinese consumers is altering the landscape for luxury goods.

Consumption of luxury items in China, the world's second-largest economy, has surged at double-digit rates in recent years as a new class of consumers snapped up jewelry from Tiffany & Co. (TIF), ties and scarves from Hermes and Louis Vuitton handbags.

China will account for 20% of the global luxury market by 2015, with spending in the country nearly tripling to $27 billion by that year from around $10 billion in 2009, according to consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

FASTEST-GROWING REGION

The fashion house, run by Patrizio Bertelli and designer Miuccia Prada, has about a third of its 326 directly operated stores in Asia-Pacific, its fastest-growing market.

Prada will have a couple of weeks to pre-market the IPO and then another two weeks for the roadshow, with a listing expected by the third week of June, a source told Reuters on Tuesday.

The company will start a roadshow to present the deal to investors on June 6, with pricing of the IPO set for June 16, Thomson Reuters publication IFR said, citing a source with knowledge of the offering.

Goldman Sachs (GS), Credit Agricole's CLSA brokerage and Italian banks UniCredit SpA and Intesa Sanpaolo's Banca IMI unit, both on Prada's board, were picked as joint bookrunners and global coordinators of the IPO.