US luxury bag maker Coach to list shares in Hong Kong

Hong Kong skyline at dusk A number of luxury brands have listed in Hong Kong

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US luxury leather goods firm Coach plans to list shares in Hong Kong on Thursday, as it seeks to raise its profile among Asian consumers.

The company will retain its primary stock listing in New York.

Coach said the move "would demonstrate Coach's commitment to, and focus on, Asia".

It is the latest international brand to list in Hong Kong after successful flotations by Italian fashion house Prada and luggage maker Samsonite.

The handbag maker said in a filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Friday that it will issue up to 293.6 million Hong Kong depositary receipts, a method that allows companies already publicly traded elsewhere to list in Hong Kong.

Start Quote

China is our largest geographic growth opportunity”

End Quote Coach

The depository receipt will represent a tenth of Coach's stock listed in New York and holders will receive dividends like owners of the company's regular stock.

The company said it is offering the shares "by way of introduction" rather than a public offering and said no new funds would be raised.

China growth

Coach, like other luxury brands, is targeting China's newly affluent consumers and said that it planned to open 30 stores in China next year.

"China is our largest geographic growth opportunity, given the size of the market, its rate of growth, and our increasing brand awareness," the company said.

The company added that consumers in North America and Japan remained cautious.

According to Bain & Co, China's market for luxury goods will grow 35% in 2011, with luxury spending by Chinese to account for just over 20% of the global market.

Currently, Coach has 745 stores and sales outlets worldwide, mainly in North America.

In Asia, the brand has traditionally been more focused on Japan, where it has 171 stores compared to 71 in China.

Coach was founded in a Manhattan loft in 1941 and is best known for its handbags that often feature its signature design of geometric Cs.

One of its major Chinese suppliers, handbag maker Sitoy Group, is also due to list in Hong Kong in December.

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