For all you Bremont fans this is a bit of good news – the brand just got a tonne more funding thanks to billionaire, Bill Ackman. Essentially, this means that Bremont will stick around and expand globally in the foreseeable future which might simply evoke a shrug in some, and excitement in others.
Hedge fund manager, Ackman, is a big fan of Bremont watches, actually he’s a known collector of them, so along with equity backer Hellcat LP they’ve provided a “substantial minority interest” in the brand with a cash injection of around $84 million AUD ($59 million USD).
Ackman said that he got in touch with co-founders, Nick and Giles English, last summer after buying a few watches from their shop in London.
“I wrote a handwritten note to the founders saying, ‘I admire your company, I love watches and I would love to learn more,’” he said.
Ackmann has invested privately with his own funds rather than those of his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management. “There is a benefit to having us invest versus private equity or a sale,” he said. “Bremont has a very long mandate and we can be a forever investor.”
He sees himself as a long-term investor who will help the company grow and the first order of business is helping them find a CEO.
Nick and Giles English, say that this capital will boost the “global growth of Bremont.” Ackman agrees and believes that Bremont could become as large as Breitling, which has been recently valued at $4.5 billion USD after private equity firm, Partners Group, took over the company.
“I have long admired Bremont’s handsomely-designed, technologically-sophisticated and rugged watches, and the brand’s storied aviation and military history,” Ackman said in a statement. “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to become a shareholder of Bremont at a fulcrum point in the Company’s evolution, and to see it take its rightful position as a global leader in watchmaking.”
Bremont’s whole schtick has been to bring watchmaking back to Britain, which they have successfully started to do. The company built a 35,000 sq ft facility in Henley-on-Thames, just outside London, to provide watchmaking capabilities to the region. They’ve since become the exclusive supplier of wristwatches to the British Ministry of Defence.
All this has happened in a relatively short time. Bremont started in 2002, which in the watchmaking world makes them barely older than a toddler. This makes it all the more impressive that they’ve managed to make such an impact in so short a time. It’s not unheard of, mind you, but it is impressive.