Tue, Nov 26, 2013 - Page 15 News List

Swatch agrees to buy Dubai’s Rivoli


Thierry Conus, director of research and development at ETA SA Manufacture Horlogere Suisse, left, Nick Hayek, chief executive officer of Swatch Group AG, and Carlo Giordanetti, creative director of Swatch Group AG, attend a news conference to launch the Sistem51 automatic watch movement, during the Baselworld watch fair in Basel, Switzerland, on April 25.

Photo: Bloomberg

Swatch Group AG, which bought the Harry Winston watch and jewelry brand for about US$1 billion in March, agreed to take over Dubai retailer Rivoli Investments LLC, gaining a network of 360 businesses across the Middle East.

Swatch, based in Biel, Switzerland, did not disclose the seller’s name or financial details of the transaction that will give it control of Rivoli, according to an e-mailed statement yesterday. Previously, it held a 40 percent stake in the retailer, which offers Swatch timepieces for sale across its network.

The Swiss company said in July that it expects a strong second-half after profit rose 6.1 percent to 768 million Swiss francs (US$834.5 million) in the first six months. The company is expanding in markets outside Asia, such as the US, to avoid depending too much on that region, chairwoman Nayla Hayek said on May 29.

Rivoli is an importer, distributor and retailer of luxury products from watches to leather accessories in the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, according to its Web site.

Dubai International Capital, owned by ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s Dubai Holding LLC, acquired a “significant stake” in the Rivoli Group in 2007, according to information on the company’s Web site.

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