Samsonite get the nod for Hong Kong IPO and Burberry Brit launches in the UK

May 16, 2011

In recent years the Hong Kong has stood at the top of world markets for IPOs, last year they raised a record-breaking $57.8bn, or £35.6bn, as companies preferred to go East over London or New York.

Samsonite was founded in 1910 by Jesse Shwayder, and sold just the one product – a travel trunk built to withstand rough use, favoured by travellers in the American West.

The brand name comes from one of his earlier cases called Samson, after the strongman in the Bible, and from 1941 he began using the trademark, Samsonite.

The company was naturally hit hard by the September 11 terror attacks on New York, which caused a fall in travel. In 2007, CVC bought the Luxembourg-based company for $1.7bn. Following this, in 2009 Samsonite agreed an 11th hour rescue with CVC that saw RBS take a majority stake in the business.

Now, Samsonite joins a whole host of top companies planning to list in the former British colony and reap the rewards.

Next week will see Glencore come to market in Hong Kong. The world’s largest trader of commodities last week launched a much anticipated global IPO, with a dual listing in both London and Hong Kong, and set a price range in the region of 480-580p a share. At the midpoint the company will be valued at around $63bn (£36.5bn).

And it’s not just Samsonite and Glencore. Prada, the luxurious fashion house has also applied for a Hong Kong initial public offering, which if successful, could have the Italian firm at around €8bn and will allow it to draw Asian investors. If all goes to plan for Prada, the flotation would make the fashion brand the first Italian company to list in Hong Kong.

So, Eastern investment is proving to be ever popular amongst retailers. A gap is opening in the market and those quick enough to establish themselves on Eastern shores will surely reap the rewards.

In other news…

Burberry has finally opened up a Burberry Brit store in the UK.

Despite being a UK brand, the new Burberry Brit store in London’s Covent Garden is the seventh to be opened worldwide, and the first on home soil.

Burberry Brit is the luxury fashion retailer’s more casual label, and like the China show, the opening event was again a star-studded one for Burberry. With performances from; Ellie Goulding, Jack Penate and Live in Film to name but a few.

It appears Burberry’s plan to establish itself as a global brand is well underway, this is definitely one retailer to watch!