Nov. 9 (Bloomberg) — Graff Diamonds Ltd., the producer and retailer whose founder twice set records buying gems at auction, plans to raise about $1 billion in an initial public offering in Hong Kong, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.
Graff plans to list next year, said the person, declining to be identified as the information is private. The London-based company, which runs a store in the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong, will use the proceeds to increase production, the person said.
The business is following brands such as Prada SpA to Hong Kong, seeking to raise money in a region where demand for luxury goods is accelerating as the European and U.S. economies stall. Sales of luxury items in China such as clothes, handbags, fine jewelry and watches will more than double to about 180 billion yuan ($28 billion) in 2015 from last year, McKinsey & Co. says.
“This is yet another example of a Western brand seeking to list its shares on a Far Eastern stock market where it believes that it will not only achieve a higher valuation but it will also gain good PR in an increasingly important market,” Chris Searle, corporate finance partner at BDO LLP, said by e-mail.