Biel / Bienne (Switzerland) and New York, N.Y. (USA), December 2, 2007 – The Swatch Group Ltd. (SWX: UHR.VX / UHRN.VX) and Tiffany & Co. (NYSE: TIF) today announced a strategic alliance to further the development, production and worldwide distribution of TIFFANY & CO. brand watches.
Michael J. Kowalski, chairman and chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co., stated «This alliance will place TIFFANY & CO. within the distinguished collection of luxury watch brands manufactured and distributed by the Swatch Group. Nick Hayek Jr. and I began discussing possible collaboration between our two companies over a year ago and I am delighted that these discussions have led to this historic agreement. Swatch Group is the best conceivable strategic partner for Tiffany’s long-planned re-entry into watch distribution. It is the leader in the high-end watch business with unparalleled distribution capabilities and experience in the luxury segment of the watch business.»
Nick Hayek Jr., chief executive officer and president of the group management board of The Swatch Group Ltd., affirmed the prospects for a long-term, successful partnership, noting that «TIFFANY & CO. is a true luxury brand with a long-standing heritage in watches. The two companies will collaborate on design, engineering, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and service. In consequence, we fully expect to see TIFFANY & CO. strengthen its position among the best known and most respected watch brands worldwide.»
Nicolas G. Hayek, chairman and co-founder of The Swatch Group Ltd., said that «this agreement is a pathbreaking strategic move. The Swatch Group Ltd. and Tiffany & Co. are again setting trends. It allows without any financial capital transaction the maximum utilization of manufacturing and distribution resources of both partners.»
Upcoming press conference
The two companies will host a press conference in Tiffany’s flagship New York store at 727 Fifth Avenue on Wednesday, December 5th at 11:00 a.m. to provide additional details about this arrangement. Participating in person will be Nick Hayek Jr. and Michael J. Kowalski, and, via videolink, Nicolas G. Hayek.