In November, Watches of Switzerland opened its flagship store, and second U.S. location, in SoHo, complete with a library and bookstore.
London—Watches of Switzerland may soon go public, the company announced last week, as it looks to slash its debt and raise capital to grow its presence in the United States.

The luxury retailer is considering an initial public offering on the London Stock Exchange, offering both new and existing shares.

Watches of Switzerland did not respond to National Jeweler’s inquiry about its plans by press time, but CEO Brian Duffy told the Financial Times that filing is an IPO is an action the company has been considering “for quite a while.”

New York-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management currently has a 90 percent stake in the company, but would reduce its share as part of the deal while still maintaining a majority stake, according to the Financial Times.

About 25 percent of the company’s shares would be available for trading, as per the terms of the plan.

Duffy said that while he didn’t foresee anything preventing a listing, the company still needs to gauge investor interest.

Watches of Switzerland has 125 locations in the United Kingdom, and has been gradually increasing its footprint in the U.S. since 2017, opening a handful of retail locations, including its flagship in New York’s SoHo neighborhood and its latest store in Hudson Yards, a recently opened upscale development in New York that has been called “a billionaire’s fantasy city.”

Swiss watch exports to the U.S. increased more than 8 percent in 2018 after a few years of decline, according to data provided by the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

If the company decides to go public, Barclays and Goldman Sachs International would act as joint global coordinators and BNP Paribas and Investec as bookrunners, while N.M. Rothschild would serve as the financial advisor.

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