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Luxury goods conglomerate snaps up Ulysse Nardin
Kering, which already owns Boucheron and Girard-Perregaux, has added another name to its jewelry and watch stable: Ulysse Nardin, a 168-year-old independent watch brand.
Paris--Kering, which already owns Boucheron and Girard-Perregaux, has added another name to its jewelry and watch stable: Ulysse Nardin, a 168-year-old independent watch brand.
The Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate formerly known as PPR announced that it was buying the Le Locle, Switzerland-based luxury watch company Wednesday when it released its financial results for the first half of 2014. The transaction is subject to the approval of competition authorities but is expected to be finalized by year’s end.
According to a joint statement from the two companies, Ulysse Nardin’s management team will remain in place and Chai Schnyder, the chairwoman of the watch company’s board of directors, will remain a member of the board.
Schnyder is the widow of Rolf W. Schnyder, who took over and re-launched Ulysee Nardin in 1983 but died unexpectedly in April 2011 following a brief illness. The company, which was founded by Swiss watchmaker Ulysee Nardin in 1846, is known for its marine chronometers and highly complicated timepieces.
“Independent high-end watchmaking manufactures are rare,” Kering Chairman and CEO François-Henri Pinault said. “This is an opportunity that we had to seize, particularly because this structural acquisition will enable us to take advantage of numerous synergies with our existing brands. We have great ambitions for this company, and we will help it continue its international expansion whilst staying faithful to its roots and its identity.”
In the first half of the year, Kering’s Luxury division, which includes watches and jewelry, posted a 6 percent increase in sales based on comparable data, reflecting a solid performance at the company’s stores around the world.
Total sales for Kering hit $6.3 billion, up from $6.27 billion in the prior-year period, a 4 percent increase with comparable structure at constant exchange rates. Recurring operating income increased 6 percent at comparable exchange rates.
Pinault’s observations about the period mirror those that rival LVMH made last week: that economic conditions remain uncertain and that the company-owned stores are outperforming sales at the independent retailers that carry Kering’s brands.
In the first half of the year, the Paris-based luxury goods conglomerate also reorganized, creating a specific division for jewelry and watches, Luxury--Watches & Jewellery, which is led by CEO Albert Bensoussan. He reports directly to Pinault.
Kering owns watch brands JeanRichard and Girard-Perregaux along with jewelry brands Boucheron, Pomellato, Dodo and Qeelin, a Chinese brand.
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