The Latest Investments: Qatar, Richemont & LVMH


Sophie Doran | February 18, 2013

Richemont, Daimler, Furla and Bang & Olufsen cement ties with Chinese distributors, as Fabergé completes its merger with Gemfields

Richemont, Daimler, Furla and Bang & Olufsen cement ties with Chinese distributors, as Fabergé completes its merger with Gemfields

Tory Burch’s recent runway show at New York fashion week has sparked rumours of an LVMH investment bid. Ms. Burch recently gained two new investors, settling the sale of half of Chris Burch’s stake in the company just before the end of 2012.

But it was the presence of Pierre-Yves Roussel – CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton’s fashion division – front row at Burch’s show that caught the attention of WWD.

When asked if LVMH was taking an interest in the lucrative contemporary brand, Roussel remained coy. “I’ve got nothing special to say,” he said. “I like what she does. That’s the only reason.”

As Fashionista noted, “now would be the time to invest in Tory Burch: The company’s IPO seems imminent, and if Michael Kors’s record-breaking public offering is anything to go by, LVMH could stand to make a lot of money if it invests with her before she goes public.”

Joint Venture: Richemont, Chow Tai Fook

Swiss luxury goods group Richemont and the world’s largest jewellery chain, Chinese Chow Tai Fook, have agreed to create a joint venture. Each will control 50 percent of the new company, which will distribute watches made by Richemont brand Baume & Mercier in Mainland China.

The Chinese company already distributes a long line of Swiss brands, several of them owned by Richemont, including Cartier, Piaget and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Source: Business Report

Increased: Qatar, Tiffany & Co

Qatar Investment Authority boosted holdings in Tiffany & Co. at the end of 2012, according to a regulatory filing. The wealth fund increased its stake to 8.7 percent, from a previous 7.8 percent stake, with a current valuation of about $700 million.

Source: Reuters

Stake: Daimler, BAIC Motor

Daimler has secured a stake in Chinese partner BAIC Motor ahead of a planned stock offering. Daimler will pay €640 million for a 12 percent stake in the Chinese automaker and get two seats on the board in a deal that signals the German company’s intention to reverse its flagging fortunes in China.

Daimler has agreed to raise its interest in their production joint venture, Beijing Benz Automotive Company (BBAC), by 1 percent to 51 percent.

Source: Reuters

Joint Venture: Furla, Fung Group

Italian accessories company Furla and Hong Kong-based Fung Group recently announced that they have formed a joint venture to open more than 100 new Furla boutiques in Greater China. Furla will hold a majority stake in the joint venture, and will manage the existing network of 20 directly owned stores.

Source: Pambianco News

Finalised: Faberge, Gemfields

Fabergé has completed its merger with Gemfields, a coloured gemstone miner and distributor. The merger was first announced in November by private equity mining giant, Pallinghurst, which owned a major stake in both companies.

Source: Forbes

Bought: Wanxiang, A123 Systems

A123 systems, electric battery supplier to Fisker Automotive declared bankruptcy in October 2012, after which Chinese auto parts supplier Wanxiang outbid a U.S. firm, Johnson Controls, for the pieces of A123 Systems.

Members of U.S. Congress blocked the sale on the grounds that it would deliver sensitive data into the hands of the Chinese, although Wanxiang excluded military contracts from its bid for A123’s assets.

Sources are now reporting that the deal has been approved, meaning that Wanxiang will acquire the non-defence related business of A123 Systems for a reported $257 million.

Source: Motor Authority

Joint Venture: Bang & Olufsen, Sparkle Roll

Danish luxury stereo and television maker Bang & Olufsen has signed a deal with Chinese partner Sparkle Roll to open more than 50 new stores in the country. Sparkle Roll will operate three Bang & Olufsen stores in three cities and more than 50 smaller stores across the country dedicated to its lower-priced “Play” products.

Source: Reuters

Speculation: LVMH, Sea Gull

LVMH is said to be interested in state-owned Tianjin Sea-Gull Watch Manufacturing Group, which has an annual capacity of 6 million mechanical movements for watches.

“LVMH is interested in the production capacity of Sea-Gull’s mechanical watch business,” revealed Ge Wenyao, chairman of cosmetics maker Shanghai Jahwa. “I think the luxury group aims to expand its watch business but its production capacity for complicated watch elements is limited.”

Source: Global Times

License: Azzedine Alaïa, BPI

Beauté Prestige International (BPI), a subsidiary of Japanese cosmetics giant Shiseido, has signed a 13 year exclusive licensing agreement for the creation, manufacturing and worldwide distribution of perfumes and cosmetics under the Azzedine Alaïa brand. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Source: Premium Beauty News

Speculation: Qatar, Four Seasons Florence

Reports in the Italian media are suggesting that the Four Seasons Hotel Firenze, currently owned by Fingen Group and controlled by Marcello and Corrado Fratini, will be sold to Qatar’s investment authority.

The deal is also rumoured to include Palazzo Tornabuoni, a group luxury serviced apartments owned by Fingen Group and the in-development Four Seasons Hotel in Rome.

Source: CPP Luxury

For more in the series of The Latest Investments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

- The Latest Investments: Harry Winston, Marni & Labelux
- The Latest Investments: Aston Martin, Fabergé & Christopher Kane
- The Latest Investments: Chanel, Marcolin & Orient Express