Bucherer, the leading European retailer for fine watches and jewelry, announced today that it has acquired Tourneau, the largest U.S. based luxury watch retailer from an investor group led by an affiliate of Leonard Green & Partners (a large, L.A.-based private equity concern). Established in 1900 and based in New York, NY, Tourneau is the largest luxury watch retailer in the U.S. with 28 retail locations across 10 states and a fully integrated e-commerce website. Founded in 1888, Lucerne-based Bucherer has 33 locations in Europe and is led by third generation family member Jörg G. Bucherer. Bucherer also owns and operates the Carl F. Bucherer watch brand.
As I see it, this deal was born out of the changing consumer dynamics, largely driven by sales shifts away from multi-brand boutiques to brand-owned distributions (both online and off) as well as the relentless tug of the online market including online-only sites like Hodinkee which now sell major Swiss brands direct-to-consumer online. An equally interesting outcome of the deal is the opportunity for Bucherer to gain a greater foothold for its Carl F. Bucherer watch brand in the U.S.
Ira Melnitsky, Chief Executive Officer of Tourneau, commented, “Bucherer is a dream partner for Tourneau. A Swiss company with 130 years of history in the industry, Bucherer understands fine watches like few others, making them the ideal partner for Tourneau. As our business continues to perform and grow, this is a natural next step for the Company. With the backing of one the world’s leading watch retailers, Tourneau’s customers, business partners and employees will benefit from Bucherer’s expertise, innovation, unmatched product selection and services. I am extremely proud to be joining the Bucherer ‘family’ and look forward to an exciting future with our team.”
Jörg G. Bucherer, owner and President of Bucherer, said, “I am very delighted to bring my family’s brand to the United States. This strengthens the leadership of our company and brings the Bucherer name to one of the most important markets in the world. We want to inspire our American customers with outstanding choice and an impeccable Swiss service culture providing the very best shopping experience.”
KPMG acted as financial advisor and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisor to Bucherer. Houlihan Lokey acted as financial advisor and Latham & Watkins LLP acted as legal advisor to Tourneau.