EXCLUSIVE: Movado Group CEO reveals why he spent £60 million buying Olivia Burton

Movado CEO and chariman Efraim Grinberg.  (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for GQ)Movado CEO and chariman Efraim Grinberg. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for GQ)

Movado Group spent a year pursuing Olivia Burton before finalising the deal to buy the London-based brand for £60 million.

The group’s CEO, Efraim Grinberg, says that he is constantly approached to buy watch companies, but has only had eyes for Olivia Burton since he started tracking the company’s success.

In his first interview since acquiring the business, Mr Grinberg described to WatchPro what attracted him to Olivia Burton. “A lot of things: the level of creativity in the product is amazing, as has been the brand and the DNA that  Lesa [Bennett] and Jemma [Fennings] have built. I get offered watch companies to buy all the time and a lot of these new start-ups that are out there have been offered to us. But this is the only one that I was interested in and instead of them courting us, I had to court them. I have spent the last year doing that, and I am delighted that we made it happen,” he recalls.

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“In my mind, Olivia Burton is the only brand out there that is truly different. It has a true DNA and a true identity that is expandable into a lifestyle brand. It is almost a collectible, which makes it really special. They have maintained the exclusivity and the luxury element while it is at an affordable price point that means women can buy their watches themselves or receive them as gifts,” Mr Grinberg adds.

Taking Olivia Burton global over the next 10-20 years will require the deep financial resources, infrastructure and expertise that Movado Group can bring. “We bring a strong financial base to help with its expansion. We bring strong knowledge around the world and great distribution and capabilities around the world. We have a very strong know-how within the watch category and around marketing. I do not think they would have sold me this company if they did not think we are all aligned in sharing a vision for the future of this brand,” Mr Grinberg says.

Read the full interview with Movado Group CEO Efraim Grinberg along with Olivia Burton co-founders Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings in the August edition of WatchPro.

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