Richemont Acquires 60% of Roger Dubuis

The Richemont Group, one of the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerates and watchmakers, has acquired 60 percent interest in luxury Swiss watch and jewelry maker Roger Dubuis SA. The announcement was made Monday.

Richemont, based in Geneva, said the acquisition was “a private transaction with Carlos Dias,” chief executive officer and primary shareholder. Financial details weren’t released.

Roger Dubuis SA, based in Geneva, will continue to manufacture and distribute watches under the “Roger Dubuis” name, according to a Richemont statement. It will benefit from “broader integration of its distribution” in the Richemont structure, it notes, while the acquisition widens Richemont stake in the upper-end of the fine watch market. Its other luxury watch brands include Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, IWC, Baume & Mercier, Vacheron Constantin, Officine Panerai and A. Lange & Söhne.

“Roger Dubuis watches are highly innovative in terms of movements and design,” said Johann Rupert, executive chairman of Richemont. “As a young business [established in 1995, making watches since 1999], it’s very different from the more established specialist watchmakers within the Group today [and] complements our maisons [i.e., other watch brands] perfectly.

“We look forward to developing the Roger Dubuis business internationally.”

The acquisition of controlling interest is the latest step in the relationship between Richemont and Roger Dubuis.

In September 2007, Richemont agreed to distribute Roger Dubuis watches in some key markets, including the United States and the Middle East. That same month, it purchased the micromechanical watch components production facility of Roger Dubuis SA in Meyrin, Switzerland, outside Geneva. It continues to manufacture components for Roger Dubuis and other Richemont watch brands, including Cartier. Richemont said than, that due to rising demand for components for high-end watch movements for its luxury watch brands, it planned “over time, to extend the production capacity” at the Meyrin facility.

Richemont’s leading international brands, or ‘maisons’, are managed independently of one another. In addition to fine watches, they include jewelry (Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels); writing instrument manufacturers (Montblanc and Montegrappa); leather and accessories (Alfred Dunhill and Lancel) and other businesses (including Chloé boutiques and products, smaller brands, and watch component manufacturing for third parties).

Caption: Richemont headquarters in Geneva.