Luxury goods group Richemont said today it will buy three top watch brands International Watch Co., Jaeger-LeCoultre and A. Lange & Sohne for $1.84 billion.
Richemont, the parent firm of the Vendome brands including Cartier, Baume & Mercier and Piaget, outbid other deep-pocketed firms for the three brands, which together are known as Les Manufactures Horlogeres. Gucci and LVMH also were bidding on LMH, and some published reports noted the Swatch Group was interested as well.
LMH owns 60% of Jaeger-LeCoultre, all of International Watch Co. and 90% of A. Lange & Sohne. According to Reuters, Richemont says the deal will include it acquiring the 40% interest in Jaeger-LeCoultre that had been owned by Audemars Piguet. The purchase gives Richemont access to not only three of the world's top watch brands but also to the widely acclaimed in-house movement and design expertise and manufacturing capabilities of the brands.
- by Michael Thompson