PPR Luxury Group, which is internationally recognized as a top provider of the highest quality luxury goods with brands such as Gucci, Balenciaga, Alexander McQueen, and others, announced yesterday that they would become the majority shareholder of the Swiss haute horlogerie Sowind Group – which includes Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard – with a 50.1% stake of the company. Based on a strategic partnership agreement that was signed in 2008, PPR already owned 23% when Sowind was still under the control of founder Luigi Macaluso, who passed away last October.
Sowind Group is one of the last independent Swiss watch manufacturers with a presence in 60 countries, most prominently with the Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard brands. According to this agreement, François-Henri Pinault will now be Chairman of Sowind Group while Monica Mailander Macaluso will be acting Vice-Chairman. The agreement will also allow PPR to support Sowind Group’s international development while strengthening their own presence in the luxury time segment.
“This operation strengthens PPR’s Luxury Group in the high-end watchmaking segment thanks to the potential of such a prestigious brand as Girard-Perregaux. The transaction will support Sowind Group’s international growth as well as product development and worldwide distribution,” said François-Henri Pinault , “This agreement is part of a longstanding business project defined with the Macaluso family, with whom we share an ambitious vision regarding the long-term growth prospects of the high-end watchmaking segment. In this regard, I’m glad to be able to count on Stefano Macaluso as General Manager of Girard-Perregaux and on Massimo Macaluso as General Manager of JeanRichard and Industrial development.”