Watches of Switzerland sets its sights on more US acquisitions
By Silke Kotrowitz - Mar 25th, 09:38
Watches of Switzerland expects to make further acquisitions in the US, which it first entered in 2017 with the purchase of jeweller Mayors, its CEO said.
Owned by US-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Watches of Switzerland has since opened several stores, including in Las Vegas and New York.
“Could we add other businesses? Very easily,” Brian Duffy said at this week’s Baselworld watch fair.
The Watches of Switzerland group, which sells brands such as Rolex, Richemont’s Cartier and Swatch Group’s Omega, as well as more than 130 showrooms, is the biggest watch retailer in Britain and a candidate for a stock market listing.
Luxury watch distribution is undergoing major changes, with many small, family-owned businesses unable to keep up with the challenges of e-commerce, while watch brands are shutting down shops which do not meet their standards.
“If it’s a quality business, the right location of stores and support from the brands, it would be obvious that we’d be open to it. Probably over a couple of years ahead, we’ll do some deals in the area,” Duffy said.
Watches of Switzerland, which spans its eponymous stores as well as Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths, Mayors, Watchshop and Watch Lab competes with rivals such as Lucerne-based Bucherer, which in 2018 bought US jeweller Tourneau.
In 2018 the company, which has been under Apollo’s control for more than six years, flagged that its owners were working with advisers on strategic options, including a potential initial public offering (IPO).
Duffy said that an IPO if it happened, would most likely be on the London Stock Exchange.
“It would be good for our group with its size and scale to have public ownership, reduced leverage and great governance and accountability, sources of capital if that's ever necessary,” he said, without giving further detail.
Apollo declined to comment. The group’s revenue grew 21% to £685m in 2017/2018, and its operating profit rose by more than a third to £37m million pounds, about twice the levels when Apollo bought it in 2013.Business Live
Clicks says private-label products boosted interim earnings
17/04/2019 - 09:59
Clicks Group says it grew headline earnings by 12.9% to R763.3m in the six months to February thanks in part to better sales of its private-label products and higher profits from its distribution business.
Mulberry teams up with Farfetch to bolster global omnichannel
16/04/2019 - 15:31
Mulberry has launched a partnership with online luxury fashion retailer Farfetch to strengthen its international omnichannel strategy.
Water giants clean up their act in search for alternatives to plastic
16/04/2019 - 14:43
Two of the world’s biggest water companies are thinking outside the bottle about how to hydrate consumers as environmental campaigners take aim at the enormous amount of plastic waste the industry produces.
Winning with sustainability in retail
16/04/2019 - 10:59
While there’s pessimism in the air with regards to global product sales, every day there are also groundbreaking changes being implemented by brands and activists who genuinely want to “be the change” when it comes to sustainability. Influencers and businesses are seeking to establish new markets through innovation, leveraging their ideas and products to help fight climate change.
Marketing takes its place at the boardroom table
16/04/2019 - 09:44
Marketing is increasingly being seen by the accountants as an integral part of the success of any organisation, and many chief marketing officers are responsible for huge budgets, according to a new survey.