More news on the Kering acquisition front! The Kering has acquired 100 percent of the luxury Swiss watch brand Ulysse Nardin; the brand will now be part of Kering’s Luxury Watches and Jewelry division, headed by Albert Bensoussan. The current management team will remain in place. Some of Kering’s other luxury watch companies include Girard-Perregaux, Jean Richard, and Boucheron.
Ulysse Nardin was founded in 1846 and has its roots in the nautical world, having supplied marine chronometers to both Russian and Japanese admiralities in 1904 during the Russo-Japanese War. In 1915, the brand won first place for its marine chronometer out of 60 entrants to a contest by the Naval observatory in Washington D.C. Nautical accomplishments remain a part of the brand today, and the symbol for Ulysse Nardin is an anchor. In addition, the brand is known for its high-end complication watches. The brand was relaunched in 1983 under the late Rolf W. Schnyder, who transformed the company into a profitable business. Under its new owners, the brand plans to expand geographically in the Asia-Pacific region.
“Ulysse Nardin benefits from a rich heritage, high profitability, and solid growth prospects,” said François Henri-Pinault in a press statement. “Independent high-end watchmaking manufacturers are rare. This is an opportunity 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.” Rolf W. Schnyder’s wife, Chai Schnyder, has been invited to remain as a member of the company’s board of directors. “Joining Kering will allow Ulysse Nardin to carry on with its brand expansion and continue to innovate, while assuring the long-term future of its knowledge and expertise and the retention of its identity,” said Mrs. Snyder said in a press statement. According to WWD, the deal with Ulysse Nardin is expected to be finalized in the second half of the year.