As much as I am NOT a fan of Breitling watches, I can appreciate an admire their success. Until recently Breitling were one of the only major independent watch brand that were not own by a big conglomerate.
The time has officially come for Breitling to go from a family business to a private equity, CVC Capital Partners to be exact. This deal is valued at more than 800 million euros ($870 million)
The transaction is expected to close in June, with CVC Fund VI acquiring an 80% stake in Breitling SA, CVC Capital Partners said in a statement today. As part of the transaction, Breitling’s current majority owner Theodore Schneider will reinvest in exchange for a 20% stake.
The family owners put the company up for sale late last year and hired advisers from GCA Altium Ltd. to find a buyer. Breitling is one of the larger Swiss watch brands that’s still independent while most others have been acquired by competitors, such as Swatch Group AG, Richemont, LVMH and Kering SA.
Swiss watch exports rose for the first time in 21 months in March, ending their longest slump on record as shipments to Hong Kong pulled out of a two-year decline, the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry said Thursday. Withering demand had led brands such as Cartier and Vacheron Constantin to cut up to 4% of its Swiss workforce because of tough market conditions.
CVC is paying about 2 times trailing 12-months sales, a discount to both Swatch Group AG at 2.7 times, and Richemont’s 3.8 times, according to sources.