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Gucci Group Relinquishes Bedat Watch Company

Godfrey Deeny
February 26th, 2009 @ 5:34 PM - Milan

The Gucci Group has sold its luxury watch brand Bedat & Co. to a Malaysian based group, LuxuryConcepts Watches & Jewelry.

Gucci Group acquired Bedat & Co. in December 2000 as a niche luxury watch label as part of the acquisition spree undertaken by the group’s then CEO Domenico De Sole and creative director Tom Ford.

However, unlike the pair’s other acquisitions – notably Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga and stakes in Stella McCartney and Alexander McQueen – Bedat never blossomed into a dynamic growing brand.

Gucci had been keen to find a buyer for Bedat for some time, regarding it as a non-strategic asset. “We have reached a good deal for all parties concerned. Since its acquisition, Bedat & Co. developed particularly in the United States and Asia, however, it didn’t reach the level of performance we were expecting. Joining LuxuryConcept with its expertise in distributing niche high-end watches in East Asia, Bedat & Co. is set to become a strong player in their markets,” Robert Polet, President and CEO of Gucci Group, opined in a press release.

Added Frank Low, CEO of LuxuryConcepts: “I am excited at the opportunities that lie ahead for Bedat & Co. and am delighted that we will be able to build upon the legacy that has been created at the brand and to develop its potential further.”

Gucci Group, the world’s second multi-brand luxury goods companies, also controls Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Boucheron and Sergio Rossi. While its parent company PPR owns Puma, the giant German active sports brand.

LuxuryConcepts is a brand management company established in 2005 that manages specialized watch and jewelry brands in the East Asian market. It currently operates four individual brand concept boutiques in Starhill Gallery Kuala Lumpur, including a dedicated Bedat & Co. boutique.

Christian Bedat and his mother, Simone, founded Geneva, Switzerland-based Bedat in 1996. Bedat left the company in 2006 after disagreements with executives at Gucci Group.

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