Baupost to acquire watch maker Timex Global

The Baupost Group has agreed to acquire Timex Global, a maker of watches.

The Baupost Group has agreed to acquire Timex Global, a maker of watches. No financial terms were disclosed. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year. Moving forward, Timex’s existing shareholders will retain a significant stake in the business.

PRESS RELEASE

MIDDLEBURY, Conn., Nov. 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Timex Group, the global maker of timepieces, today announced that its owners have entered into an agreement pursuant to which an affiliate of The Baupost Group, LLC, the Boston-based investment firm, will acquire majority ownership of the company. Timex Group’s existing shareholders will retain a significant ongoing interest in the business. The transaction is expected to close before year-end, following customary regulatory review.

The investment is an expression of Baupost’s confidence in Timex Group’s long-term future. The company has built the Timex brand into a household name synonymous with quality and innovation. Timex Group also designs, manufactures, and markets timepieces under license for globally recognized brands, such as Guess, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Furla, Missoni and Ted Baker.

“Timex Group’s storied 166-year history, and incredible portfolio of brands and brand partnerships, offer a unique opportunity to drive innovation and growth in the watch industry,” said Tom Blumenthal, partner and head of Private Corporate Investments at The Baupost Group. “We believe in the company’s strategic vision and the ability of the management team to achieve it. We look forward to supporting the company for years to come.”

Anette Olsen, Chairman of Timex Group, said, “Timex Group has a lot to be proud of. With our great team at all levels of the organization, our brand partners, loyal customers and vendors, Timex Group is well-positioned to capitalize on the many opportunities that lie ahead. We look forward to adding new successful chapters to Timex Group’s history together with Baupost.”

Added Tobias Reiss-Schmidt, who will remain in his role as Timex Group’s CEO, “In recent years, we have transformed Timex Group into a highly consumer-focused company that has unique capabilities in bringing the DNA of our brands to life, and the speed and agility to succeed in today’s market. With the involvement of The Baupost Group, we can accelerate market penetration in key regions and product segments, as well as further grow our incredible brand portfolio. We look forward to working with all our shareholders and partners as Timex Group continues to succeed and grow.”

About Timex Group
Timex Group designs, manufactures and markets innovative timepieces around the world. Timex Group is a privately held company headquartered in Middlebury, Conn. with multiple operating units and over 3,000 employees worldwide. As one of the largest watch makers in the world, Timex Group companies produce watches under a number of well-known brands, including Timex, Guess, Versace, Salvatore Ferragamo, Missoni, Versus, Furla, Gc, Ted Baker, and Nautica.

About Baupost Group
The Baupost Group is a Boston-based investment manager with a long-term, value-oriented approach. Since 1982, the firm has been thoughtfully stewarding and compounding capital on behalf of families, foundations and endowments, as well as employees who collectively are the firm’s largest client. Today Baupost manages roughly $29 billion, of which approximately 30 percent is held in cash or cash equivalents, which allows the firm to invest at scale and execute quickly on new opportunities. CEO and Portfolio Manager Seth Klarman has overseen Baupost’s investments from the company’s inception.

With a broad and flexible charter, and depth of experience across all asset classes and market environments, Baupost is strongly positioned to evaluate and pursue longer-duration opportunities, and to structure transactions flexibly to meet the requirements of counterparties. The firm’s experience in private equity includes transactions with family or founder-owned businesses, crossover public/private investments; structured investments; recapitalization and expansion investments; and carve outs.

Advisors
Ropes & Gray LLP acted as lead counsel (legal advisors) to Baupost in relation to the proposed transaction. Aabø-Evensen & Co acted as lead counsel (legal advisors) to the Sellers and to Timex Group’s board of directors in relation to the proposed transaction. Squire Patton Boggs LLP has together with Aabø-Evensen & Co acted as legal advisors to Timex Group in connection with the financing. Jefferies LLC acted as financial advisor to Timex Group on the transaction.