Bill Ackman has bought a minority stake in British luxury watchmaker Bremont after being a loyal customer for many years.
The American billionaire hedge fund manager has invested £48.8m alongside Bremont’s current lead investor private equity fund Hellcat, Bremont announced today.
With the new investment from Ackman, Bremont is now valued at around £100m.
Ackman’s personal fondness for Bremont’s stylish watch faces is no secret. He said in a statement he has “long admired Bremont’s handsomely-designed, technologically-sophisticated and rugged watches, and the brand’s storied aviation and military history”.
Co-founders and brothers Giles and Nick English – who began manufacturing their now-famous mechanical watches in 2002 in Henley-on-Thames – said they were “thrilled” that Ackman’s has moved from a collector to an investor.
The fraternal duo hope the boost in capital will allow them to spend more on marketing, distribution, and talent.
Giles English said the move was also a boost for Britain as “the birthplace of some of the most important timekeeping innovations”.
“We are delighted to continue our country’s history of manufacturing and innovation through the global growth of Bremont,” he added.
The company is looking to expand into the United States. Ackman’s investment will also help Bremont expand in the US, where it hopes to open more boutique stores.
The news comes after Bremont’s most successful year, recoding a 28 per cent revenue increase.
Roughly 18 months ago, Bremont unveiled its new Henley-based watch manufacturing facility, The Wing, which is the first of its kind to exist in Britain in over half a century.
The watch company is currently searching for a new chief executive.