There were rumors in the market for months but now it is official: Breitling is sold. The 133-year old Swiss brand is closing a deal with the private equity firm CVC Capital Partners from Luxembourg.
Breitling is one of the few traditional Swiss watch making companies that is privately held. But not for long anymore. CVC Capital Partners buys the company with their CVC Fund VI. According to Bloomberg News for about 800 million euro’s (870 million US dollars). Breitling SA is owned by Theodore Schneider. He is the son of the German businessman Ernest Schneider who bought the company in 1979 from Willy Breitling. Who was the last Breitling family member running the company and the grandson of founder Léon Breitling. Theodore Schneider is seen as the biggest current shareholder of Breitling SA. Sources report a number of current shareholders are members of the management and some external (informal) investors.
CVC Capital Partners states that Theodore Schneider will reinvest in exchange for a 20 percent stake. “I am convinced CVC is the right partner to elevate Breitling to the next level,” said Theodore Schneider, in a press release from CVC. “CVC’s expertise, track-record and international network will help unlock Breitling’s full potential.”
Breitling is sold to unlock new markets
Which means: Breitling needs extra power to conquer the Asian and Chinese market. CVC Capital Partners is a private equity firm, founded in 1981 and currently based in Luxembourg. According to Wikipedia, CVC has approximately US$80 billion in secured commitments across European and Asian private equity, credit and growth funds. In total, the CVC Group manages over US$52 billion of assets.
Breitling employs about 900 people and has its headquarter in Grenchen, in Switzerland. They have two production facilities; in Grenchen and La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland.
The financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed yet. Furthermore, closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the relevant competition authorities and is expected for June 2017.
Here you can read about the history of Breitling…