By Osheen Arakelian

Kering and Ulysse Nardin have reached an agreement for Kering to acquire 100% of the capital of Ulysse Nardin. Kering has recently begun to expand its Luxury Watches and Jewellery division so the purchase of Ulysse Nardin makes sense for such an ambitious company. The deal however, is subject to the consent of the competition authorities and if all goes well, should be finalised by the second half of 2014.

Ulysse Nardin was founded 1846 and has already undergone a number of changes in its history starting with the companies re-launch in 1983 by Rolf W. Schnyder, who transformed the company into a highly profitable outfit with strong financials. This has been accomplished because of the strong identity that Ulysse Nardin has developed in the marine chronometer industry that is accompanied by high-complication watches.

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François-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.”

The end result, if the acquisition is accepted, will be a push by Kering into the Asia-Pacific region enabling them to tap into new markets and expand their technical and industrial expertise whilst increasing their distribution network and accelerating the growth of their luxury watch and jewellery division. With brands like Gucci, Gigard-Perregaux and JeanRichard under their belt, Kering is sure to continue its success in the high-end luxury watch industry.

Good luck to Kering and Ulysse Nardin on their new venture together and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for both parties.

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Osheen Arakelian – Contributing Writer

Drawing on a lifelong love of horology and a more recent introduction to appreciation of fine whisky, Osheen brought the two together with watch & whisky. He is proprietor of the site, which covers everything related to watches and whisky. In between completing a degree in commercial law and supporting a rich social life, he is out and about attending all the latest watch and whisky events Sydney has to offer. His passion has also taken him around Australia attending a number of events and he hopes to continue his career in the watch industry on a more serious level after he graduates. Read his articles here.

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