Swatch $1 billion deal with Harry Winston watch brand announced

By on Jan 14, 2013 in Business, Lifestyle Comments

Swatch agrees to pay $1 billion to buy the Harry Winston Diamond Inc., as announced by the two companies on their official websites today, Monday, January 14, 2013. The acquisition reportedly includes the Harry Winston production company in Geneva and its more than 500 employees worldwide.

Swatch Harry Winston logo

Swatch Group and Harry Winston logos
Image Credit: Swatch Group/Harry Winston

According to a joint press release at SwatchGroup.com and HarryWinston.com, the Swatch $1 billion deal with Harry Winston includes paying for the company’s debt amounting to about $250 million. The luxury brand diamond jewelry is part of Harry Winston Diamond Corp., which is based in Toronto, Canada.

“At the time that we purchased the Harry Winston brand, resource investment opportunities for diamonds were rare and expensive following the euphoria of the Canadian diamond discoveries, and the involvement of the large international mining companies.” Robert Gannicott, Harry Winston Corporation Chairman and CEO, was quoted in the joint release.

“The Harry Winston brand was competitively priced compared with its peers and we could bring diamond expertise and strategic connections to enhance value. Today there is a range of diamond resource opportunities while the value of heritage luxury brands has increased dramatically.” Gannicott added.

“This transaction represents a sound return on our original investment. It will leave us well equipped to realize upstream opportunities in an environment where cash has become a strategic resource while preserving and expanding our relationship with the downstream diamond business.” Gannicott explained further.

Harry Winston brilliantly complements the prestige segment of the Group. We are proud and happy to welcome Harry Winston to the Swatch Group family – diamonds are still a girl’s best friend.” Nayla Hayek, Chairwoman of Swatch Group, said. The said business deal still needs to be approved by the regulatory board.

Nevertheless, under the Swatch-Harry Winston agreement, Harry Winston Diamond Inc. has agreed to use a new name after the closing of the transaction, and will eventually be called Dominion Diamond Corporation. Both companies are therefore being expected to explore the opportunities for a joint diamond polishing venture.



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