The shares of the British high-end watch retailer Watches of Switzerland they collapsed more than 20% this Friday in the London Stock Exchangeafter what Rolex announced the acquisition of Bucherer, one of the largest distributors of the watch brand and a competitor of the company.
In a statement, Rolex confirmed the acquisition of Bucherer, without disclosing the financial details of the agreement, noting that the purchase responds to Jörg Bucherer’s decision, in the absence of direct descendants, to sell his company. “This measure reflects the desire of the Geneva-based brand to perpetuate the success of Bucherer and preserve the close collaborative ties that have united both companies since 1924,” he explained, adding that the retailer will retain its name and continue to operate independently.
Bucherer has more than 100 points of sale around the world, of which 53 distribute the Rolex brand and 48 distribute the Tudor brand, in addition to offering the official after-sales service for both brands. The company has been an official distributor of the Rolex manufacture since 1924 and the Swiss watchmaker stressed that Jörg Bucherer is the last active person to have met and worked with Hans Wilsdorf, founder of Rolex, adding that he will remain honorary president of the Bucherer group.
For its part, Watches of Switzerland, the other large Rolex retail distributor, has indicated in a statement that, after consulting with Rolex’s management in Geneva, as well as in the United Kingdom and the United States, the acquisition of Bucherer “is not a Rolex’s strategic move into retail”.
In this way, it has indicated that Rolex will not participate operationally in the Bucherer business nor will it appoint non-executive members of the distributor’s board, in addition to the fact that there will be no changes in Rolex’s product allocation processes or distribution developments as a result of this acquisition.