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Swatch Enters Renewable Energy Deal

For Swatch Group, it's time to get greener.

PARIS — For Swatch Group, it’s time to get greener.

The Swiss watchmaker said Wednesday it would partner with international bank Groupe E to develop clean, renewable energy based on hydrogen and fuel cells.

The two firms, along with Hayek Engineering and other parties, aim to make Switzerland a global leader in renewable energy through a new holding company that may eventually seek a stock market listing.

Swatch chairman Nicholas G. Hayek and Groupe E chief Philippe Virdis are heading a steering committee that will establish new affiliate companies with group employees and other partners, according to a joint statement.

While best known for such watch brands as Omega, Breguet and Tissot, Swatch Group is no stranger to the energy business, having been involved in the development of the Smart, a solar-powered and hybrid car.

This story first appeared in the August 30, 2007 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.