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Prada sold Jil Sander to a London private equity fund, Change Capital Partners, last month for an undisclosed sum.
There has been plenty of talk in financial circles here that Prada’s banks had been pressuring the group’s chief executive officer, Patrizio Bertelli, to sell Jil Sander and Helmut Lang to help pay off debt. Prada’s flirtation with a stock market listing has yet to come to fruition and many in the market doubt it ever will.
ITMD Investments, the company through which the Prada family and Bertelli hold their stakes in Prada Holding, owes the banks 800 million euros, or $960 million at current exchange. Prada’s balance sheet for 2004 indicated that its main operating subsidiary had debt of 818 million euros, or $981.6 million. Prada has yet to release financial figures for 2005, which are expected to reveal an improvement in the debt level.