Harry Winston Shopping Watch and Jewelry Business

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and PPR were said to have been approached.

HARRY WINSTON EYEING $1 BILLION: 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, according to a source.

Another individual suggested that most luxury groups, with the exception of possibly Compagnie Financière Richemont, are likely to look at the business given that it is “an iconic name capable of doing business in the high-jewelry segment to compete with Graff and Cartier.”

This story first appeared in the October 18, 2012 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

News surfaced on Wednesday that the division was being shopped. LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and PPR were said to have been approached. Spokesmen for LVMH and PPR each declined comment, as did a spokeswoman for Harry Winston.

RELATED STORY: Harry Winston Chief Denies Sale >>

The company 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. In the second quarter ended July 31, reported last month, the company said sales for its luxury branded segment fell 13 percent, or 11 percent at constant exchange rates, to $115.4 million from $132.8 million a year ago. Excluding high-value transactions from both periods, the company said sales increased 25 percent in the second quarter.

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