Majors

Kering Sells Girard-Perregaux, Ulysse Nardin

MajorsJan 25, 2022

Kering Sells Girard-Perregaux, Ulysse Nardin

The watch brands will be sold to their management teams.

Kering is selling its stake in Sowind Group, which owns watch brands Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin. (Image courtesy of Girard-Perregaux’s Facebook page)
Paris—Kering is selling two of its watch brands, Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin.

The luxury conglomerate announced Monday it has signed an agreement to sell its stake in Sowind Group, which owns the two brands.

Kering said the sale is in line with its strategy of prioritizing brands that potentially could become “sizable assets.”

The company partnered with Sowind Group, the parent company of Girard-Perregaux, in 2008 and initially held a minority interest in the company.

Kering, then known as PPR, acquired a majority stake in Sowind in 2011.

In 2014, Kering acquired then-independent Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin and brought it under the Sowind umbrella.

“With a long tradition in watchmaking, Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin have continuously evolved since their acquisition by Kering, while preserving their identity,” said Kering, lauding the brands for their “approach to design and technical know-how.”

 Related stories will be right here … 

Under Kering’s ownership, the brands launched new models, opened their own directly operated stores, reorganized distribution, and strengthened ties with watch distributors.

“On the sound foundations laid thanks to Kering’s support and investments, we have the right setup and resources to implement a plan capable of ensuring the long-term development of both brands,” said Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin.

The brands have adequate resources to fund their growth, Kering said, adding the company is confident in the new management. 

“The extensive work carried out by the group in recent years at Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin has laid the foundations for sustainable growth,” said Jean-François Palus, Kering’s group managing director.

“Kering has demonstrated its ability to secure the conditions for the long-term development of entities leaving the group, in the interest of their employees, partners, customers and local communities.”

The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first half of 2022.

The financial impacts of the sale will be reported in the results for the fiscal period ending Dec. 31, 2021, set to be released Feb. 17. 

Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

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