PRIMETIME - Watchmaking in the News - April 2017
In this edition of PRIMETIME, we are mainly coming back on one of the biggest recent move in the industry, as Breitling, one of the last independent brand, just got sold to a private equity firm, CVC Capital Partners. We will also quickly introduce the important watch auctions that will be held in Geneva in the next days.
Concerning Breitling, there has been talks about this sale since a few months already, but we didn’t know who could be this potential buyer and now things have been made official.
The rumoured selling price has been set rather high around 800 Million Swiss Francs, so it was no big surprise that no other watchmaking groups made any moves on it. But at such a price and considering the difficult economic climate for watchmaking, this does question how CVC is going to turn things around, since we know that these kind of funds are not there for charity.
CVC used to be the commercial rights holder of Formula 1 until recently before selling it to US based Liberty Media in 2016. When you think how competing venues were asked to cash out huge amounts of money to simply have the right to host each races and its very negative consequence on spectator turnout during these races because ticket prices were just too expensive...
Well, we know that they will be in to squeeze profit margins, but we also know that such groups are not there to keep their assets too long and will most likely want to sell it in a few years. But to have bought it at such price reduces the possibility of selling it with a massive premium, at least in today's context.
But maybe CVC bought the brand and its industrial capabilities for someone they already know...