Girard-Perregaux Owner Purchased by French Conglomerate

Sowind Group, the Swiss watchmaker whose brands include Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard, has been acquired by French luxury conglomerate PPR.

Under the arrangement, PPR will become the majority shareholder of the company with a 50.1 percent stake. PPR already owned a 23 percent share based on a strategic partnership agreement signed with Sowind in 2008.

François-Henri Pinault, current CEO and chairman of PPR, will become chairman of Sowind Group. Monica Mailander Macaluso, widow of former Sowind chairman Luigi Macaluso, becomes vice chair.

PPR’s other holdings include Boucheron, Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Sergio Rossi, and Balenciaga.

“Our choice to see PPR play a bigger role alongside us is fully consistent with my husband’s decision in 2008 to consolidate a financial and managerial partnership that would give to an haute horlogerie house like ours the means to grow on the international market,” said Monica Mailander Macaluso in a statement. “For this reason, our direct involvement in the Group’s management remains unchanged.”

Girard-Perregaux, founded in 1791, operates worldwide with 500 high prestige sales outlets and 11 boutiques.