Prada is one of many luxury brands in debt, and speculation suggests the company may sell a minority stake.
The New York Post reports that jewelry conglomerate Richemont, owner of brands such as Montblanc, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels, is contemplating plans to purchase one-third of the couture house. Thus far, however, the rumors have not been confirmed.
Last year, Prada approached Richemont about a possible partnership, but the brand was turned down because of its $3.8 billion price tag and $1.7 billion debt.
The alliance would have allowed Prada to pursue global expansion plans and better compete with rival firm LVMH. Yet Prada, "categorically denies any negotiation whatsoever to sell any share to Richemont."
Designer Miuccia Prada and her husband Patrizio Bertelli, Prada's CEO, own 95% of the brand and acquired the tremendous debt after buying and selling multiple labels including Helmut Lang, Fendi, and Jil Sander.
Notorious for his short temper, Bertelli once threw thousands of dollars worth of “poorly designed” handbags from a window and angrily demolished a mirror at Prada's Prince Street location after noticing the installation of uneven wallboards.
With such temperamental leadership, Prada may not be able to withstand the rigors of major negotiations if wallboards send its CEO into a rage. In the fashion industry, however, having such a dramatic reputation may actually improve brand value.
No one would buy a book titled, "The Devil Wears The Gap."