Swiss luxury watchmaker Breitling, one of Switzerland's last major independent watchmakers whose sought-after timepieces are worn by celebrities including David Beckham and John Travolta, has been sold to CVC Partners, the private equity group revealed Friday.
CVC announced in a statement in London that it will purchase a majority 80-percent stake in Breitling from Theodore Schneider, who will hold 20 percent after completion of the transaction.
The private equity giant did not give a price but Bloomberg News estimated the deal was worth in excess of 800 million euros (US$870 million).
Breitling – one of the few remaining Swiss watch brands to be independently owned – was founded in 1884 when Leon Breitling opened up a workshop in the Jura mountains.
The Swiss company now employs 900 people and is headquartered in Grenchen in Switzerland.
It has two manufacturing facilities, in Grenchen and La Chaux-de-Fonds.
"I am convinced CVC is the right partner to elevate Breitling to the next level," said Theodore Schneider in the statement.
"CVC's expertise, track-record and international network will help unlock Breitling's full potential."
The deal is expected to close in June 2017, subject to approval by relevant competition authorities.