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Timex Buys Ecko Watch Trademark

Timex Group has acquired the Marc Ecko watch trademarks on a global basis.

Timex Group has acquired the Marc Ecko watch trademarks on a global basis. The Middlebury, Conn.-based watchmaker has been the Marc Ecko watch licensee since 2002. Terms of the deal between the two privately held companies were not disclosed.

The agreement comes as New York-based Marc Ecko Enterprises seeks to raise cash by selling off noncore assets. Ecko hired investment bank Peter J. Solomon in November to assess and facilitate strategic options in order to pay down large debt loads owed to a group of lenders headed by CIT, as well as trade receivables owed to its sourcing agent Li & Fung.

Timex Group currently sells Marc Ecko watches in 35 countries, and is aiming to ramp up international sales following the acquisition, according to the company. The watches retail for between $100 and $300 and are distributed in 4,000 points of sale globally.

“A key strategy of Timex Group is to have a balanced portfolio of brands and to increase our share of owned versus licensed brands,” said Hans-Kristian Hoejsgaard, president and chief executive of Timex Group. “The purchase of the Marc Ecko trademark in the watch category helps us advance that goal, and, importantly, aligns with our strategy to build brands that represent global growth.”

Timex Group rang up sales of $800 million in 2008. Apart from Marc Ecko, its owned brands now encompass Timex, Opex, TX and Vincent Bérard. Its licensed brands are Timex Ironman, Nautica, Guess, Gc, Valentino, Salvatore Ferragamo, Versace and Versus. The company does not break out sales by brand.

Marc Ecko will reveal additional divestments of assets in the coming weeks, according to a company spokesman. Apart from the core Ecko Unlimited sportswear division, the company’s businesses include Avirex, Zoo York, Complex magazine and Marc Ecko Games.