Global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners said its CVC Fund VI agreed to acquire an 80% stake in Breitling SA, one of the last independent, family-owned manufacturers of Swiss luxury watches, in a deal said to be valued at more than 800 million euros ($875 million). Breitling’s majority owner Théodore Schneider will retain a 20% stake in the company.
“I am convinced CVC is the right partner to elevate Breitling to the next level,” said Schneider. “CVC’s expertise, track-record and international network will help unlock Breitling’s full potential.”
Founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling, the company specializes in the manufacture of high-performance watches. The company looks back on a heritage of seminal innovations that have played a decisive role in the development of wrist chronographs. Breitling employs approximately 900 people and is headquartered in Grenchen, Switzerland. The company operates two manufacturing facilities, one in Grenchen and one in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Breitling watches are sold worldwide in exclusive boutiques and via selected retailers.
Alexander Dibelius, Managing Partner and Head of Germany at CVC, commented: “Breitling has a proud heritage, high brand awareness, and enjoys an excellent reputation as one of the finest watchmakers in the world. We very much look forward to working with Théodore Schneider as we embark on Breitling’s next chapter of growth.”
“Using our network and expertise, CVC will work to make this global, iconic brand even more renowned and help shape the future of one of Switzerland’s last independent watch manufacturers,” added Daniel Pindur, Senior Managing Director at CVC. “Specifically, we see significant growth potential for Breitling in both existing and new geographies by driving the digitization of the marketing and distribution channels in the company, helping to enrich the product and customer experience.”
The deal is subject to approval by competition authorities and is expected to close in June 2017.
Headquartered in Luxembourg, CVC Capital Partners is one of the world’s leading private equity firms. Founded originally in 1981 as the European arm of Citicorp Venture Capital, the CVC Group today employs some 300 people throughout Europe, Asia and the US.
The firm was spun out from Citicorp in 1993, as an independent private equity firm. The CVC team’s local knowledge and extensive contacts underpin a proven track record of over 35 years of investment success. CVC manages capital on behalf of over 300 institutional, governmental and private investors worldwide, having secured commitments of more than $71 billion in private equity, credit and growth funds.