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Watches of Switzerland buys Italy’s Roberto Coin for £104m

Watches of Switzerland Group has bought Italian jewelery firm Roberto Coin for $130m, or around £104m.

Watches of Switzerland told investors on Thursday that $10 million of the purchase price would be deferred for one year and «depending on the future profitability of the acquired business.»

The London-listed watchmaker said it had secured the deal in a bid to expand further into the lucrative luxury jewelery market.

The deal: Watches of Switzerland Group bought Italian jewelry firm Roberto Coin for $130 million

Watches of Switzerland has been working with Roberto Coin as a partner for over ten years.

Roberto Coin will continue to operate as an independent, standalone business within the Watches of Switzerland stable.

The founding Coin family will retain a seat on the company’s board of directors. Peter Webster, who co-founded and led the brand for nearly three decades, will retain his role as president.

The deal was funded by a new $115 million loan that boosted the group’s leverage to 0.8 times net debt, which will leave the firm halfway through its full-year debt outlook, the group said.

Shares in Watch of Switzerland rose 0.87 per cent, or 2.83p, to 327.83p on Thursday morning, having fallen more than 57 per cent over the past year.

Roberto Coin, an affiliate of Italy’s Roberto Coin SPA, has exclusive permanent rights to import and distribute the Italian firm’s jewelry throughout the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America.

For the year ending December 31, 2022, Roberto Coin’s annual revenue was $146.2 million, while its pre-tax profit was $30.1 million.

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Brian Duffy, CEO of Watches of Switzerland, said: “We have worked with Roberto Coin for more than a decade in the US, selling its elegant jewelery in a number of our mayor’s showrooms. It is a hugely popular, growing brand with a strong market position, backed by product quality, design creativity and imagination.

“We believe there is a significant opportunity to leverage our proven retail expertise in luxury designer jewelry.

“The luxury designer jewelery category has consistently outperformed the wider jewelery sector and we see further strategic and operational opportunities for the business within the wider group. We are committed to our new wholesale partners and are excited to work with them and help them grow with Roberto Coin.’

He added: “Today’s strategically and financially attractive acquisition is testament to our ambition and the strength we are building in this exciting category.

«It will allow us to take on one of the fastest growing jewelry brands in the US and leverage our retail and operational expertise to accelerate growth and further enhance Roberto Coin’s offering in North and Central America.»

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