Prada Holding BV has decided to put off its planned initial public offering until the autumn, sources said.

The Italian luxury-goods group was preparing to go public on the Milan stock market in late June or early July. However, it has decided that market conditions aren't auspicious at the moment. It is now planning the IPO for the autumn, provided that market sentiment improves by then.

A company spokeswoman said on Monday that the Group had never planned to float before summer and that the timing of the IPO depended entirely on market conditions: "We've always said it could be June, mid-July, September, December even. If the market is bad, it could be 2003 or whenever the market improves."

The Prada IPO is expected to be one of the most-watched offerings in the luxury-goods sector in recent years. The company is planning to sell up to 30 per cent of its shares in a deal that could net the group as much as 2bn euros. Rough valuations for Prada have ranged from 6.5bn euros to 8bn euros.

Insiders said the delay is due entirely to market conditions, as opposed to problems within the group. Prada has filed its prospectus with Italian stock market regulators, but that does not prevent it from delaying the offering. Regulators hadn't yet given the green light to the IPO. A company spokeswoman had no comment.