(Corrects story first published Feb. 15 to remove reference to IPO application filing yesterday.)
Feb. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Graff Diamonds Ltd., the London- based retailer whose founder twice set records buying gems at auction, may conduct an initial public offering to raise as much as $1 billion in Hong Kong in the second quarter of this year, said two people with knowledge of the matter.
Credit Suisse Group AG, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley will manage the offering, the people said, declining to be identified because the information is private. Graff, which produces and sells diamonds, runs a store in the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.
An employee at Graff’s London office, who asked not to be to be named, said company officials were not immediately available to comment on the IPO plan.
Graff Diamonds is following brands such as Prada SpA to the southern Chinese city, seeking to raise money in a region where demand for luxury goods is accelerating as the European and U.S. economies stall.
Founder and London jewelry dealer Laurence Graff bought a diamond in a 2010 Swiss sale for a record auction price of 45.4 million Swiss francs ($49.6 million). Graff previously paid 16.4 million pounds ($25.7 million) for the 35.56-carat grayish-blue Wittelsbach Diamond at Christie’s International in London in December 2008, then the highest price for a gem at auction.
Prada raised $2.5 billion in a Hong Kong IPO in June, while Coach Inc., the largest U.S. luxury leather goods maker, listed depositary receipts in the city late last year.
--Editor: Mohammed Hadi
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