Tommy Hilfiger, the purveyor of preppy apparel that won a loyal following among hip hop artists and their fans in the 1990s, is set to go public. The company is currently private and owned by Apax Partners, the New York venture capital firm. Hilfiger first went public in 1992 on the New York Stock Exchange. Apax took the company private at the end of 2005. According to Bloomberg, Hilfiger is now set to return to the public markets, but this time on the Euronext Amsterdam exchange. (Fun fact: the Amsterdam stock exchange is the world's oldest, and was founded by the Dutch East India Company in 1602.)
To me, it is interesting that Apax is choosing to take the company public overseas. Close observers of the financial markets have been arguing for some time that the U.S. was coming dangerously close to losing its status as the venue of choice for all serious companies' public offerings. Is this a sign of the apocalypse?
Meanwhile, a person writing under the handle "Fazsha" posting to the New York Times DealBook blog reacted to the news in a different way: "There's nothing more annoying than people trying to IPO the same company twice in 15 years. The only people making money on this stock will be the brokerage firm as they pick your pocket." Well, there's that, too.
UPDATE: Reacting to the ongoing market volatility, Apax has postponed Hilfiger's offering.
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