CVC Capital Partners has acquired the remaining 20% of Swiss watchmaker Breitling from Théodore Schneider, according to Swiss daily Basler Zeitung.
CVC acquired an 80% stake in the business from the Schneider family last year, at a valuation reported to be in the region of €800m. Company director Théodore Schneider reinvested for a 20% stake at the time.
The company was acquired with capital from CVC Capital Partners VI, based on an EBITDA of €75m for 2017.
CVC introduced Georges Kern as CEO following the acquisition. Kern was previously CEO at another watchmaker, IWC Schaffhausen, where he oversaw sales growth from $40m to $800m in his 14-year tenure, according to an interview given to luxury goods magazine Robb Report.
Kern told the magazine that he has simplified the product line at Breitling, scrapping the 12 traditional collections in favour of four categories. He also launched a brand ambassador initiative with "squads" of three ambassadors across various categories, such as "cinema" which comprises Adam Driver, Brad Pitt and Charlize Theron.
Breitling is a manufacturer of luxury watches, headquartered in Grenchen, Switzerland. The company was founded in 1884 by Léon Breitling who played a key role in the development of the chronograph in a wrist watch.
The company has two manufacturing facilities in Grenchen and La Chaux-de-Fonds, and distributes its watches to selected boutiques and retailers worldwide. The company employs approximately 900 people.
CVC Capital Partners – Alexander Dibelius (managing partner).
Breitling – Théodore Schneider (director).
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