LVMH purchases Swiss watchmaker Hublot


The Wall Street Journal – 04/25/2008
By Stacy Meichtry and Mimosa Spencer

PARIS -- As the luxury industry wades through murky economic waters, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SA is focusing on the buoyant high-end watch market, announcing the purchase of Swiss watchmaker Hublot SA.

LVMH said it had bought Hublot, whose watches go for as much as €300,000 ($475,000) from the brand's co-owners -- founder Carlo Crocco and Chief Executive Jean-Claude Biver. The move expands LVMH's presence in a sector that has proved resilient to slowdowns in spending in the global financial crisis.

LVMH didn't disclose the value of the deal for Hublot. LVMH Financial Director Jean-Jacques Guiony told reporters Thursday that the group paid around 12 times Hublot's estimated operating profit in 2008.

Michel Dyens