Technocorp Holding, a subsidiary of Swatch Group, yesterday said that it had bought a further 18 per cent of Rivoli Investments from Dubai International Capital (DIC).
Swatch Group, the world’s largest watch company, now owns 58 per cent of the Dubai-based luxury lifestyle retailer.
“We bought all the shares that were available,” said Beatrice Howald, a spokeswoman for Swatch. “We were not working on getting any more, we were happy with our 40 per cent stake, but as we saw they were for sale, it made business sense to take DIC’s shares, rather than letting them go somewhere else, as DIC was selling all its stock.”
Swatch did not reveal the price it paid for the stake, which DIC had acquired in September 2007.
However, a Reuters report quoting ZKB analyst Patrik Schwendimann said he estimated the purchase price for the stake at about 100 million Swiss francs (Dh403.1m)
It had been reported that the private equity arm of Dubai Holding was in talks to sell its stake in Rivoli to Saudi-based Al Rajhi Capital.
Rivoli has some top watch brands in its portfolio, including Montblanc, Omega and Tag Heuer.
The group operates more than 360 stores in the Middle East and has in excess of 1,500 employees.
Swatch recorded an operating profit of US$999 million for the first half of this year with group sales up 8.7 per cent year-on-year.
It sees no immediate changes to the running of the Rivoli Group.
“All the regions of the world have contributed to our growth,” said Ms Howald.
“There are no changes planned for the Rivoli retail chain as it is seen as well-kept and well-managed. We will have a special eye on the shops, but we always have as it is a shop window for each of the brands of the Swatch Group.”
In a related development, DIC was said to be considering the sale of the German packaging group Mauser that could fetch up to €1.5 billion (Dh7.45bn), Reuters reported quoting unnamed sources.
DIC was planning to launch a formal sale process for Mauser by January, two of the banking sources said, the report added.