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Kering - Patrick Pruniaux Acquires Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin From Kering

Kering Patrick Pruniaux Acquires Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin From Kering

A long-rumoured event finally goes down…

On the first day of LVMH Watch Week (Monday, January 24, 2022), Kering Group announced that it has signed an agreement to sell Sowind Group SA, which comprises the watchmaking brands Girard-Perregaux and Ulysse Nardin, to its current management, led by Patrick Pruniaux. The transaction is expected to be finalised this summer.

For the record, Kering (then PPR) bought Girard-Perregaux (as well as the JeanRichard brand belonging to the same holding company, Sowind) in 2011, followed by Ulysse Nardin in 2014. In 2017, Kering appointed Patrick Pruniaux to the helm of Ulysse Nardin, subsequently bringing Girard-Perregaux under his leadership in 2018. The double responsibility was made possible by recruiting strongly complementary teams, "capable of flourishing to give the best of themselves; I believe a lot in exchange and collective intelligence," reads his portrait published in the Millennium Watch Book. In recent years, the Ulysse Nardin team in bringing out the soul of the brand more clearly, in a way that is disruptive but still true to its DNA.

Regarding Girard-Perregaux, Patrick Pruniaux told GMT Magazine: "The brand's values are well perceived by connoisseurs, but the end customer in general probably needs more explanation. Girard-Perregaux is distinguished by the harmony between watchmaking content and design that remains at the heart of its DNA, but also by a relaxed Italian elegance. Today it is interesting to be part of a club of exclusive brands in terms of production, more so than those that sell a million pieces. When I see someone wearing a Girard-Perregaux, I see a connoisseur's choice. It's an advantage not to produce too much, and it's up to us to explain this side of the brand’s strength. (full interview available here).

Charismatic and dynamic, this upbeat leader with an athletic physique recently distinguished himself by co-founding Geneva Watch Days with Jean-Christophe Babin (Bulgari) and Georges Kern (Breitling). While he has managed to breathe new life into Ulysse Nardin (see his video presentation here), Girard-Perregaux is still a sleeping beauty and the challenge is going to be great. Commenting on the sale, he said "On the sound foundations built thanks to the support and investments of Kering, we have all the necessary means to implement a long-term project capable of ensuring the sustainable development of both brands".


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