Speidel acquired in management buy out

Speidel Inc., the leading distributor of watchband attachments worldwide, announced Dec. 19 that president, Jeffrey R. Massotti has purchased both Speidel Inc., and Providence Watch Hospital from Austria-based Hirsch Armbaender AG. The purchase was made by Massotti’s holding Company, JRM Holding Inc. The purchase price was not disclosed.

The company will continue to focus its efforts on its multi-level channels of distribution, with the Independent Jewelry trade being the dominant focus, said a company statement. Speidel has one of the largest wholly owned sales teams in the jewelry industry calling on independent jewelers. The sales force will continue to represent both Speidel and Hirsch Brands throughout North America, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.

“This transaction will now put the worldwide rights and control of the Speidel brand name and trademarks back on U.S. soil,” Massotti said. He also noted that the company will remain in East Providence, R.I. Speidel and Providence Watch Hospital, with locations in Cranston, Providence, and Wakefield, R.I. together employ approximately 150 people.

Speidel Inc., and Providence Watch Hospital are headquartered in Providence RI. The companies respectively began in 1904 and 1940. Speidel is the leading worldwide distributor of watchbands, as well as marketing multi product lines such as watches, jewelry, lighters, and accessories. Providence Watch Hospital is a major service center for watch and jewelry repair.

Hirsch Armbaender AG acquired Speidel from Textron Corp. in December 1997. Massotti, who joined Speidel in 1992, was named president in fall 2000. He was also responsible Speidel’s acquisition of Providence Watch Hospital in July of 2001.

“The employees of both Speidel and Providence Watch Hospital, along with myself are extremely grateful for the many significant contributions made by the Hirsch family, and we look forward to their continued support during this transition and in the years ahead,” said Massotti. said Robert Hirsch, chief executive officer of Hirsch Armbaender AG, said, “The Hirsch Group is equally committed to support Speidel in this strategic alliance. Utilizing common synergies, the reciprocating brands will only strengthen the distribution of both names worldwide.”

“The possibilities that lay ahead for both Speidel and Providence Watch Hospital are tremendous,” said Massoti. “We’re looking forward to shorter time frames for decision-making, an open centralized control over one of the most recognized brands in the industry, and the opportunity to widen our market channels and increase the distribution of brand name products.

“As we near the celebration of 100 years of the Speidel name, we also look to the future for growth,” Massotti said. “Our core competencies are just the building blocks that have laid the solid foundation for both companies.”