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Watches of Switzerland to Go Public

Mayors owner plans London IPO to repay debt and support growth.
May 13, 2019 7:36 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Watches of Switzerland will proceed with an initial public offering (IPO) on the London Stock Exchange in an effort to reduce its debt and support growth.

The UK-based luxury-watch retailer plans to raise approximately GBP 155 million ($201.6 million) by selling new and existing company shares, it said last week. It will use those funds to pay off its current GBP 120 million ($150.1 million) debt and expand its business and brand profile.

“Our transformation is complete: The group is now the UK’s leading luxury watch retailer, and has successfully entered the significant and underdeveloped US market,” said Watches of Switzerland CEO Brian Duffy. “I am very excited for what lies ahead, and the opportunity to take our growth strategy to the public markets.”

The company operates 125 stores in the UK and 21 in the US, including Mayors Jewelers, which it purchased from Birks Group in 2017. It is one of the largest retailers for luxury-watch brands including Rolex, Patek Philippe, TAG Heuer and Cartier. Watches of Switzerland saw group revenue of GBP 746 million ($970.3 million) in the 12 months to January 27.

The company expects to float on the stock exchange by early June.

Image: A Watches of Switzerland store in the UK. (Watches of Switzerland)
Tags: Brian Duffy, Cartier, initial public offering, London Stock Exchange, patek philippe, Rapaport News, Rolex, Tag Heuer, Watches of Switzerland
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