Jeweller Plukka to list Down Under

Hong Kong jeweller to celebrities Joanne Ooi is heading to Australia to raise cash to expand her jewellery retail brand Pukka internationally.

Pukka is set to be listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in October and Ooi is in Sydney and Melbourne this week drumming up institutional support for her high end, handcrafted jewellery designs which have already caught the eye of celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Miranda Kerr.

Ooi, a former creative director at Chinese-inspired luxury fashion brand Shanghai Tang, created Pukka back in 2011 in partnership with Hong Kong restaurateur Jai Waney. It has a limited range of core designs in stock and a catalogue of made-to-order lines.

Ooi and Waney work directly with renowned designers – including names like Bernard Delettrez and Sidney Chung – to create exclusive pieces for sale on Pukka’s online stores.

One third of the shares in Pukka will be listed in Australia, raising an anticipated AU$10 million which will be used to fund expansion into the US.

While the brand has focused online for its first three years, it opened a single retail outlet in Hong Kong’s Landmark Atrium earlier this year.

“There is no substitute for a woman to be able to see and touch fine jewelry in person,” Ooi said in a recent interview with CNBC. “[We found that] offline transaction values are much higher than online purchases.”

Unlike many Hong Kong based design and retail businesses, it is targeting expansion in the west, rather than Mainland China.

“[Expanding into the United States] is the most economically efficient mode of branding and marketing a global luxury brand,” Ooi told CNBC.

“Branding among fashion opinion leaders in the United States confers a level of credibility and authority, which is difficult to achieve by just marketing in the Asian market.”

Pukka’s jewellery does not come cheap. Its most affordable line is $300 and its most expensive circa $150,000.

The Australian IPO is fully underwritten by advisers KTM Capital.

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