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Friday, May 27, 2016

Citizen To Acquire Frederique Constant In a Swiss-Japanese Partnership

Frederique Constant Geneva headquarters

Citizen Watch Co., Ltd., has entered into an agreement to acquire the Geneva-based Frederique Constant Holding, the parent company of the Frederique Constant, Alpina and DeMonaco watch brands. 

The two companies in a joint statement Friday said the acquisition is part of the Japanese watch company’s “Citizen Global Plan 2018” business plan—a multi-brand strategy where Citizen seeks to complete its brand portfolio by acquiring Swiss brands. 

The acquisition will enable Citizen Watch to strengthen its brand portfolio, offering Swiss timepieces in three categories: traditional Swiss watches (Frederique Constant), sport watches (Alpina) and haute horlogerie (DeMonaco).

There was no mention whether MMT (Manufacture Modules Technologies Sàrl.) is part of the deal. MMT was founded a year ago as a joint venture between Frederique Constant Holding and Silicon Valley to bring an horological smartwatch open platform to the Swiss watch industry. 

Citizen said the present management personnel and staff will continue to hold the same positions after this acquisition.

“We have a great opportunity to expand the sales of Frederique Constant through our current distribution channels of Citizen branded watches, particularly in Japan and the U.S.” said Toshio Tokura, Citizen Watch CEO. “With the acquisition of Frederique Constant, the Citizen Watch Group will be able to augment its portfolio of brands and occupy the space in the markets where some of our competitors operate and further expand the presence of the Citizen brand in the market.” 

He added “Citizen will be able to achieve great synergy for sharing technologies and infrastructures in the future.”

Aletta and Peter Stas, who founded Frederique Constant Holding SA in 2008 to develop tradition high-quality Swiss timepieces at affordable prices, were always staunchly independent. They said they were approached by two companies a year ago and entered into discussions with them only when it became apparent their children were not interested in taking over the business.

“After a year of deep discussions, we felt best with one group in terms of expectations and strategy. This group required, specifically, to keep both of us and the current management team in place for at least five years,” the husband and wife owners said in their own statement. 

In the statement with Citizen, they said: “As we feel a tremendous commitment to the Frederique Constant Group and its people, we started to explore a potential collaboration to secure the company beyond ourselves. We have become increasingly impressed by the innovative technologies of the Citizen Group. We see the opportunity of Swiss-Japanese partnership to develop and market Accessible Luxury watches for the 21st century and beyond.” 

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