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Kering to Sell Its Two Luxury Watch Brands

Jan 24, 2022 6:58 AM   By Rapaport News
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Kering, the Paris-based luxury conglomerate, has agreed to sell timepiece brands Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin to the managers that currently run them.

The group has signed a deal to divest 100% of its stake in Sowind Group, a holding company that owns the two Swiss watchmakers, Kering said in a statement Monday. It expects to complete the transaction in the first half of this year. No financial details were disclosed.

“This transaction is in line with Kering’s strategy [of] giving priority to the houses with the potential to become sizable assets within the group, and to which it can provide decisive support over time,” Kering explained.

Kering, best known for its Gucci and Saint Laurent fashion labels, also owns four jewelers — Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo and Qeelin — in addition to the two watch brands with which it plans to part.

While the company doesn’t report sales data for those categories, it noted a strong performance in jewelry in the third quarter of 2021 and a return to growth for watches. It is scheduled to release full-year results for the entire group on February 17.

PPR, Kering’s predecessor, acquired a 23% stake in Sowind Group in 2008 and raised this to 50.1% in 2011, bringing Girard-Perregaux under its control. Kering then bought Ulysse Nardin in 2014.

“The extensive work carried out by the group in recent years at Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin has laid the foundations for sustainable growth,” said Jean-François Palus, Kering’s group managing director. “Kering has demonstrated its ability to secure the conditions for the long-term development of entities leaving the group, in the interest of their employees, partners, customers and local communities.”

Image: A Laureato Absolute Gold Fever watch, which Girard-Perregaux released in November 2021.
Tags: boucheron, Dodo, Girard-Perregaux, Jean-François Palus, kering, Pomellato, ppr, Qeelin, Rapaport News, Sowind, Sowind Group, Swiss watches, Switzerland, Ulysse Nardin, watches, watchmakers
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