PARIS, France — LVMH is now the majority owner of yet another fine jewellery maison.
The French luxury conglomerate quietly upped its stake in 99-year-old Italian brand Repossi to 69 percent in April 2018, BoF has learned. The group first took a 42 percent interest in the brand in November 2015, according to a filing.
Since the transaction, LVMH has helped develop Repossi’s retail network, opening shop-in-shops in department stores in Dubai, London and Doha, with New York and Tokyo on deck this year. The brand also opened a shop at the Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong.
“The goal is to finance the brand’s international expansion," Repossi Chief Executive Benjamin Comar said in an exclusive interview with BoF.
Founded in Turin, Italy, in 1920 by Constantino Repossi, the brand has flagship stores in Paris and Monte Carlo. Gaia Repossi, the fourth-generation heir, took the reins as artistic and creative director in 2007 at the age of 21. Under her leadership, Repossi has emerged as an important player in the market for fashion-led fine jewellery, with bestselling pieces including ear cuffs and their serti sur vide ring.
Hard luxury remains a relatively small piece of LVMH’s portfolio, with watches and jewellery contributing $4.1 billion in sales last year, about 9 percent of the group’s total revenue. The giant in the space is Richemont, which owns Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and other brands.
However, the market for hard luxury is growing fast, particularly in Asia and among younger customers. Both LVMH and rival Kering have invested in jewellery and watch brands in recent years. Along with Repossi, it also owns Bulgari, which the group acquired for $5.2 billion in 2011, as well as Chaumet and Fred. Gucci is launching a high-jewellery line in July, with Kering Chief Executive François-Henri Pinault describing the market as “buoyant” earlier this year.
Jewellery is “one of the most promising categories within luxury goods, given its projected growth and still relatively low penetration of branded products,” said Luca Solca, managing director of luxury goods at Sanford C. Bernstein Schweiz.
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