Samsonite said on Thursday it may raise as much as $1.5 billion from a share sale in Hong Kong, as the luggage maker and other global retailers tap the region's capital markets -- and surging customer base.
The firm said it would sell about 671 million shares, about 48 percent of the company, at a price ranging from HK$13.50-HK$17.50 ($1.70-2.25) with the stock scheduled to begin trading in the Asian financial hub on June 16.
Samsonite, which makes suitcases, casual bags and travel products, said its sales in 2010 recovered to $1.21 billion from $1.03 billion in 2009, when the global financial meltdown pounded the travel market.
"We ran into some problems especially with the global credit crisis," Tim Parker, the company's chief executive, told a press briefing in Hong Kong on Thursday.
A restructuring has boosted Samsonite's profit margins while the company hikes spending on advertising, especially in Asia where the firm's business grew 45 percent last year, Parker said.
European private equity firm CVC acquired Samsonite in 2007 in a $2 billion deal, following several earlier restructurings by the company which almost went bankrupt in 2003.
CVC said at the time that China and India were key to the firm's growth, a point echoed by Parker who said the pair were Samsonite's second and third biggest markets respectively, after the United States.
Italian fashion house Prada has said it would list its shares in Hong Kong later this month after raising about $2 billion, while US handbag maker Coach, already listed in New York, announced in May that its shares may start trading in the southern Chinese territory by year-end.
Britain's Burberry is also reportedly eyeing a listing in the city as high-end retailers look to profit from the region's rising incomes.
Firms raised more than $50 billion in Hong Kong IPOs last year, including two monster sales by Asian insurer AIA and Agricultural Bank of China, making it the world's biggest market for new listings.