Aurum Holdings is maintaining its stated position that no formal sales process has been initiated by its private equity owner Apollo Global Management.
However, Brian Duffy, CEO for Britain’s biggest watch and jewellery retail group, says that Apollo has appointed advisers to look into possible options for the sale of the business and recognises that Apollo will look for fresh investors at some point.
“Apollo is the best partner we could ever wish for, but they are a private equity company. They will sell at some point,” Mr Duffy tells WatchPro.
Aurum Holdings has enjoyed a spectacular year of growth as tourist and domestic spending on luxury watches has surged in the UK.
The company has gained market share, and demonstrated sustainable growth. “That will interest any future investor,” says Mr Duffy.
Aurum Holdings owns Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths, Boutique.Goldsmiths and Watch Shop in the UK, and will open its first Watches of Switzerland overseas in New York next year.
“Going into the US market makes it a great time to look at how a new investor who can come in and accelerate growth,” Mr Duffy suggests.
He stresses again that no formal sales process has started, but advisors are looking at different opportunities, including taking the company public on the stock market.
That option, Mr Duffy says, would have the attraction of a broader ownership that would provide stability.