Louis Vuitton buys luxury Swiss watchmaker Hublot

LONDON - Luxury goods group LVMH is acquiring top of the range Swiss watchmaker Hublot for an undisclosed sum.

LVMH will acquire Hublot from Carlo Crocco, who founded the group in 1980, and a company controlled by Jean-Claude Biver, who has managed Hublot since 2004.

Biver will contribute to the development of LVMH's watchmaking division.

LVMH said that Hublot would complement its existing watch portfolio, which comprises Tag Heuer, Swiss watch manufacturer Zenith, Dior Montres and Louis Vuitton watches. The company also holds watch collections for jewellers Chaumet, Fred and De Beers.

Hublot has its headquarters and workshops near Geneva and has started building a factory at Nyon as part of expansion plans.

It currently has 300 stores worldwide spanning Switzerland, Spain, France, Germany, the US, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore. The brand has also recently been launched in China and India.

Hublot's Big Bang collection includes models with automatic movements and prices ranging from €8,000 to over €300,000.

Crocco said: "I am happy that Hublot, an innovative brand since its creation, is joining the LVMH group, the world leader in luxury goods, whose creative passion is without any doubt a value that I have always shared."

Philippe Pascal, chief executive officer of LVMH's watches and jewellery business group, said: "Hublot is a strategic and very complementary acquisition. Its high-end positioning, selective distribution, financial performance and growth potential make Hublot a 'rising star'.

"We are very happy that Jean-Claude Biver will, along with the management team of Hublot, continue on this remarkable journey and contribute his considerable expertise to our development in this promising sector."