May 2, 2019 / 6:43 AM / in 18 days

Watches of Switzerland eyes premium stock market listing

LONDON, May 2 (Reuters) - Private-equity-owned Watches of Switzerland Group said on Thursday it was considering a stock market flotation in London, as it looks to make acquisitions in the United States.

The company, which sells brands such as Rolex, Richemont’s Cartier and Swatch Group’s Omega, is looking to trade on the main market of the London Stock Exchange with a free float of at least 25 percent of issued share capital, using its premium listing segment.

Its revenues hit 746 million pounds ($973.38 million) and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) stood at 67.7 million in the year to January 2019.

Owned by U.S.-based private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Watches of Switzerland has since opened several standalone stores, including branches in Las Vegas and New York.

“Today’s announcement signals the next stage in that journey, leveraging our scale, retail and e-commerce expertise, and strong stakeholder relationships to continue our profitable growth strategy,” Chief Executive Brian Duffy said in a statement.

The global luxury watch market is a structurally attractive market, underpinned by favourable, long-term growth in both price and volume.

Barclays Bank and Goldman Sachs International are acting are global coordinators on the deal. ($1 = 0.7664 pounds) (Reporting by Clara Denina, editing by Sinead Cruise)

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