Luxury Watchmaker Bremont Announces £48.4M ($59M) Investment By Bill Ackman and Hellcat LP.
Bremont, Britain’s largest manufacturer of luxury watches, announced that renowned investor, Bill Ackman and his affiliate, has purchased a substantial minority interest in the company alongside Hellcat LP, Bremont’s long-standing lead investor, which increased its investment in the Company as part of the transaction.
Giles English, Bremont Co-Founder, said: “Nick and I are thrilled that Bill has moved from collector to investor, joining our long-standing shareholder, Hellcat, as partners in Bremont. This new capital will enable us to invest in marketing, distribution, and talent. This is not just a boost for Bremont, but also for Britain. The British watch industry is the birthplace of some of the most important timekeeping innovations, including the perpetual calendar, and we are delighted to continue our country’s history of manufacturing and innovation through the global growth of Bremont.“
“I have long admired Bremont’s handsomely-designed, technologically-sophisticated and rugged watches, and the brand’s storied aviation and military history,” stated Bill Ackman. “The UK’s rich horological past laid the foundation for Nick and Giles to found and grow Bremont into one of the watch industry’s preeminent brands and engineering companies. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to become a shareholder of Bremont at a fulcrum point in the Company’s evolution, and to see it take its rightful position as a global leader in watchmaking.”
The closing of this new investment comes 18 months after Bremont opened its 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art Manufacturing & Technology centre, The Wing, in Henley, UK. This new facility has enabled Bremont to become the first business in over 50 years to manufacture mechanical movements at scale on British shores. The opening of The Wing, along with a series of new global boutique openings and increased demand across a new range of watches, drove record annual revenue growth of 28% in Bremont’s most recent financial year.
“We have been founder-led since inception and have built Bremont with the help of an extremely talented team over the last 20 years,” said Nick English, Bremont Co-Founder. “Over the last four years we have flourished under the leadership of Managing Director Chris Reynolds, who we are delighted to announce will now take on the role of Chief Operating Officer to support and enable the addition of a new CEO, who can build upon the team, brand, and business we have created together, enabling Bremont to become one of the top global watch companies in the industry.”
Chris Reynolds, Managing Director, added: “Bremont has built a state-of-the art business, from our outstanding product design, development and engineering, to our global marketing, wholesale, and retail operations. This investment will allow us to scale our operations, accelerate innovation, and enhance our in-house capabilities, talent development, and recruitment.”
As the company continues its expansion, particularly in the thriving US market, Bremont remains focused on producing the highest-quality, precision-engineered and crafted timepieces. This new capital will drive Bremont’s multi-channel, multi-market expansion, enabling new boutique openings in the United States and globally, wholesale expansion, enhanced JV partnerships and greater brand visibility.
Bremont and its existing investors, led by Hellcat LP – an investment vehicle representing a group of individuals and investment professionals who have been shareholders of Bremont for more than eight years – have always had strong ambitions to grow the Company’s manufacturing capabilities and worldwide distribution. As it embarks on its next phase, Bremont remains committed to the pillars of its luxury heritage that have guided it since its inception and will do for generations to come.
The Company has retained the services of leading executive recruitment firm Egon Zehnder to assist in its search for a new CEO.