Wednesday, July 30, 2014

STOP THE PRESS!!! UN will be Joining...

Kering!  It would seem that we are temporarily out of the doldroms!

This just came in, and I called for confirmation.  Kering, who presently hold Girard-Perregaux, JEANRICHARD, Gucci, Boucheron - and a personal family favorite - DODO, have acquired Ulysse Nardin!

Now in and of itself this is huge, but there are some extra little sub-plots of interest to those of you obsessed with inner-workings, ins and outs -

this means (most likely) that it is conceivable that ochs und junior (and with it Ludwig Oechslin), might be coming along for the ride.  Obviously a lot of the minutia remains to be sifted, but for now, here is the press release from Kering -

Kering acquires the haute horlogerie brand Ulysse Nardin 
∞ An innovative watchmaking business built on outstanding tradition and 
manufacturing expertise 
∞ One of the few Swiss watchmakers to have its own production capacity for critical 
watch components, particularly regulating systems 
∞ A highly profitable company with solid prospects for growth 
∞ Great synergies with the Kering ‘Luxury – Watches and Jewellery’ division 

Paris (France) – Le Locle (Switzerland). Kering and Ulysse Nardin have signed an agreement for 
Kering to acquire 100% of the capital of Ulysse Nardin. The brand will join Kering’s ‘Luxury – 
Watches and Jewellery’ division, headed by Albert Bensoussan, and the management team will 
remain in place. The deal is subject to the consent of the competition authorities and should be 
finalised during the second half of 2014. 

Founded by Mr Ulysse Nardin in 1846 with its roots in the nautical world, the eponymous 
watchmaking house was taken over and re-launched in 1983 by Rolf W. Schnyder who 
transformed it into a highly profitable business in a healthy financial position. The company 
benefits from a very strong brand identity based on its historical expertise in marine chronometers 
and ultra-complication watches. Ulysse Nardin has long been one of the most innovative 
independent watchmakers. The brand was a pioneer in the use of cutting edge technologies and 
state-of-the-art materials like silicium, which today ensures that it has the in-house expertise, 
particularly in regulating systems, to produce its own components. Its coherent range of watches 
positioned in price segments that are growing and its efficient distribution network are also major 

This acquisition constitutes a structural development enabling Kering to strengthen its ‘Luxury – 
Watches and Jewellery’ division with a clearly positioned business that complements its other 
brands. Over and above the opportunity for Ulysse Nardin’s geographical expansion, especially in 
the Asia-Pacific region, it will enable the deployment of the numerous synergies linked to Ulysse 
Nardin’s technical and industrial expertise and its excellent distribution network – contributing to 
accelerate the growth of the whole division. 

Fran├žois-Henri Pinault, Kering’s Chairman and CEO, stated: “Ulysse Nardin benefits from a rich 
heritage, high profitability and solid growth prospects. Independent high-end watchmaking 
manufactures are rare. This is an opportunity that we had to seize, particularly because this 
structural acquisition will enable us to take advantage of numerous synergies with our existing 
brands. We have great ambitions for this company and we will help it continue its international 
expansion whilst staying faithful to its roots and its identity. In this regard, I am pleased that Mrs
Schnyder accepted to remain a member of its board of directors. I have long admired Ulysse 
Nardin and I am delighted that this brand is joining our ‘Luxury – Watches and Jewellery’ division.” 
Mrs Chai Schnyder, Chairman of Ulysse Nardin’s Board of Directors, stated: “Joining Kering is an 
opportunity for Ulysse Nardin. It will allow the brand to carry on with its international expansion 
and continue to innovate, while assuring the long-term future of its knowledge and expertise and 
the retention of its identity. I am delighted that Ulysse Nardin has found the best partner in 

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