UK’s leading watch retailer Aurum for sale after Brexit vote boost
Arum, owner of major UK jewellery and watch retailers Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths and Watches of Switzerland, could be up for sale. Press reports said its majority shareholder, US-based Apollo Global Management, has appointed investment firm Jefferies to run the sale.
Apollo has owned the company since 2012 and currently operates 140 stores employing 1,000 people, with estimates of its turnover set at around £600m annually. The US firm has not confirmed or denied the reports.
Insider sources said a formal sale process hasn’t yet been give a green light and there is no news on a possible asking price or who might bid for the businesses. It is also believed that the sale process might not start for several months.
Aurum is the UK’s biggest Rolex retailer and is believed to account for almost half of all retail watch sales in Britain.
It has benefited from the fall in the value of the pound as tourists have visited Britain to buy luxury goods at more attractive prices than in the rest of Europe. Its luxury watch sales rose 40% in the weeks following the EU exit vote last June.
And Sky news report that the company enjoyed strong trading over the recent holiday season.
Its flagship luxury brand Mappin & Webb currently holds royal warrants from both the Queen and the Prince of Wales with Marie Antoinette having been an earlier customer of the 142-year-old business.
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