By and  on December 12, 2011

PARIS — Compagnie Financière Richemont SA is poised to take over the Paris building that has been home to men’s wear retailer Old England since 1886 and turn it into a multibrand luxury watch retailer, a source familiar with the plans said.

Richemont, which owns brands including Jaeger-LeCoultre, Cartier and Piaget, plans to sign a lease on the space located at 12 Boulevard des Capucines near the Paris Opera and a few blocks away from department stores Galeries Lafayette and Printemps.

Officials at Richemont declined to comment, as did Société Foncière Lyonnaise, the firm that owns the commercial lease to the building.

French daily La Tribune, which did not identify its sources, has reported that the store was expected to cost 70 million euros, or $94 million at current exchange, and would not open before late 2012.

The move comes as many watch retailers are strengthening their directly operated retail networks in a bid to capture the custom of wealthy clients from emerging markets, especially Asia.

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