October 26, 2021
Consumer, Retail, E-commerce and Leisure
GCA Altium co-advises CVC Capital Partners on the sale of a minority stake in Breitling to Partners Group
GCA Altium, together with Rothschild & Co., co-advised CVC Capital Partners on the sale of a significant minority stake in leading Swiss watchmaker Breitling to Partners Group, a leading global private markets firm.
Founded in 1884, Breitling is one of the leading Swiss watchmakers, with a unique heritage in the industry as the inventor of the modern wrist chronograph and a particular positioning as a casual, inclusive, and sustainable luxury brand. Breitling has a diverse range of watch collections centred around air, land, and sea themes, and its unique modern-retro design style appeals to an increasingly broad consumer base globally. Breitling benefits from attractive macro and sectoral transformative growth trends, especially in Asia, where rising disposable incomes amongst the middle classes are increasing demand for premium products, including watches. It is estimated that the luxury watch segment will grow at 6% CAGR between 2021 and 2024, with the majority of this growth coming from China.
Partners Group will partner with CVC Capital Partners and management to further accelerate Breitling’s growth, building on its successful track record in recent years. Key value creation initiatives include growing direct-to-consumer sales channels, expanding Breitling’s own retail network, particularly in Asia and the US, and continuing to improve operational efficiency. In line with Partners Group’s entrepreneurial governance approach, the firm’s Co-Founder Alfred Gantner will join the Board of Breitling.
Alfred Gantner, Co-Founder, and Executive Member of the Board of Directors, Partners Group, said: “Breitling is an iconic Swiss brand whose watches are instantly recognisable around the world for their quality and style. Under the leadership of Georges Kern, the company has enjoyed significant growth in recent years, and we believe it has significant potential to capture a wider audience of consumers globally. We wholeheartedly look forward to working with Georges and the CVC team to realise this next stage of growth for Breitling.”
Georges Kern, Chief Executive Officer, Breitling, commented: “We are delighted to welcome Partners Group as an investor, and Alfred Gantner as a Board member. With CVC and Partners Group we have a strong alliance to accomplish our ambitious targets to realise our immense potential to become one of the undisputed leaders in the Swiss Watch Industry.”
Daniel Pindur, Partner, CVC Capital Partners, stated: “We are proud of the fantastic progress Breitling has made since we invested in 2017. Working in close partnership with Georges and his team, we have been able to significantly accelerate Breitling’s growth, through a repositioned brand, a rejuvenated product offering and a continued digitisation of the business. We are very pleased to be bringing Partners Group on board and look forward to working closely with them to continue to grow this iconic business further and ultimately target an IPO in a few years’ time.”
GCA Altium previously advised Breitling on the sale to CVC in 2017.