Harry Winston Chief Denies Sale

"It’s all speculation," Frédéric de Narp said.

LONDON — Frédéric de Narp, Harry Winston’s president and chief executive officer, has denied reports that the company is seeking to sell its watch and jewelry business.

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“I have been at Harry Winston for almost three years and, honestly, we are approached every month with offers from banks looking to buy the business,” de Narp told WWD. “We’re not selling, it’s all speculation.”

De Narp was speaking on Wednesday night at the cocktail party to kick off the “Hollywood Costume” exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum here. The show, which opens on Saturday and runs through Jan. 27, is sponsored by Harry Winston.

As reported, Harry Winston Diamond Corp. is said to be seeking $1 billion for its watch and jewelry business, or the equivalent of 30 times earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and PPR declined to comment on reports they had been approached.

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Winston operates two segments, mining and branded retail. In branded retail, it has spent more than eight decades in the luxury diamond jewelry business.

The brand is represented often in red-carpet appearances among actresses who wear selections on loan from the firm’s collections.