Breitling just hit the block and took at $870 million buyout from CVC Capital Partners for an 80 percent stake. From National Jeweler:

Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is set to acquire an 80 percent stake in Breitling SA, one of the world’s last family-owned Swiss watch companies. Théodore Schneider, the current majority owner of Breitling, will reinvest in the company, taking the remaining 20 percent.

As I’ve said before: the industry is in dire straits. This could be a friendly game of pass the hat on Breiling’s part but what it sounds like is CVC is going to do is try to streamline and “fix” the company. How well an equity firm can do that for a historically beloved but vaguely unpopular watch company is the $870 billion question.

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ByJohn Biggs

John lives in Brooklyn and has loved watches since he got his first Swatch Irony automatic in 1998. He is the editor of WristWatchReview.

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