Compagnie Financière Richemont SA history, company profile (overview) and history video

   Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A., is a luxury goods holding company, headquartered in Bellevue, Switzerland. It operates through the following business sectors: Jewellery, Watches, Leather Goods, and Fashion & Accessories.


   Compagnie Financière Richemont SA was founded by Johann Rupert in 1988 through the spin-off of the international assets owned by Rembrandt Group Limited of South Africa (now known as Remgro Limited)

   Established by Dr Anton Rupert in the 1940s, Rembrandt Group owned significant interests in the tobacco, financial services, wines and spirits, gold and diamond mining industries as well as the luxury goods investments that, along with the investment in Rothmans International, would form Richemont.

   Formation of Richemont. Richemont owns minority holdings in Cartier Monde SA and Rothmans International, which also holds investments in Cartier Monde, Alfred Dunhill and, through Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc and Chloé.

   Richemont acquires Philip Morris‘ 30 percent interest in Rothmans International.

   Separation of Richemont’s tobacco and luxury goods operations into Rothmans International NV/PLC and Vendôme Luxury Group SA/PLC respectively.

   Richemont acquires Purdey.

   Buyout of Rothmans International minority shareholders. Formation of NetHold pay television group, in which Richemont holds 50 per cent interest.

   Merger of Richemont’s tobacco interests with those in South Africa held by Rembrant Group Limited, Richemont owns 67 per cent of the enlarged tobacco group. Acquisition of watchmakers Vacheron Constantin by Vendôme Luxury Group.

Merger of NetHold with Canal+ of France, Richemont acquires 15 per cent of Canal+. Acquisition of watchmaker Officine Panerai and leather goods brand Lancel by Vendôme Luxury Group.

   Buyout of Vendôme Luxury Group minority shareholders, Richemont owns 100 per cent of luxury goods interests.

   Merger of Rothmans International with British American Tobacco. Richemont holds 23.3 per cent effective interest in the enlarged British American Tobacco. Acquisition of a controlling 60 per cent interest in Van Cleef & Arpels, one of the world’s most renowned jewellery Maisons. Richemont disposes of its 15 per cent interest in Canal+ in exchange for a 2.9 per cent interest in Vivendi.

   Reduction in the Group’s effective interest in British American Tobacco to 21 per cent through partial disposal of holding of preference shares. Disposal of Vivendi interest, which represents Richemont’s exit from pay-television and electronic media investments. Acquisition of Jaeger-LeCoultre, IWC and A. Lange & Söhne.

   Richemont acquires a further 20 per cent interest in Van Cleef & Arpels. In November 2001, Richemont units were split in the ratio of 100 to 1.

Richemont acquires the remaining 20 percent interest in Van Cleef & Arpels that it did not previously own, bringing that company into full ownership by the Group.
Richemont acquires the final 10 per cent of A. Lange & Söhne that was previously held by members of the Lange family.

   In June 2004, holders of warrants over British American Tobacco preference shares exercise their rights and have preference shares converted into new ordinary shares in British American Tobacco. Richemont’s effective interest in British American Tobacco reduced to 18.6 per cent in June 2004.

   Richemont announces in March 2005 that it has marginally reduced its interest in British American Tobacco to 18.2 per cent through the indirect sale of 12,854,457 British American Tobacco shares to its joint venture partner, Remgro Limited. 
Richemont announces sale of Hackett Limited.

   Richemont announces in March that it has entered into an agreement for the sale of its interest in Old England SA.
Richemont acquires Fabrique D’Horlogerie Minerva SA.
Richemont announces that it has entered into a long-term partnership with Greubel Forsey (20 per cent).

   Richemont and Remgro reach agreement with British American Tobacco whereby their combined equity interest in British American Tobacco may increase through the 30 per cent limit without any obligation to make a full bid for the shares that they do not already own. Richemont and Remgro’s effective interests have increased as British American Tobacco’s share buyback programme reduces the overall number of shares in issue; Richemont and Remgro do not participate in the buyback. 
   Richemont and Polo Ralph Lauren announce the formation of a 50/50 joint venture – the Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Company.
   Richemont acquires an interest in Azzedine Alaia, the Parisian fashion house.
   Richemont acquires component manufacturing operations of Manufacture Roger Dubuis SA. This entity is named Manufacture Genevoise de Haute Horlogerie (MGHH).
   Richemont acquires the watch case manufacturer Donzé-Baume SA.

   Richemont acquires 60 per cent interest in Manufacture Roger Dubuis SA.
   Richemont announces its planned restructuring. This involves the separation of Richemont’s luxury goods business from its other interests.
   ormation of Reinet Investments S.C.A. as a separately traded vehicle for holding the non-luxury goods businesses formerly held by Richemont.

   January – Launch of the first watch collection from Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry Company, a joint venture between Richemont and Ralph Lauren, at the SIHH Geneva.

Richemont acquires the majority of the shares of NET-A-PORTER.COM, the premier online luxury fashion retailer. NET-A-PORTER operates as an independent entity alongside Richemont’s other luxury goods businesses.

   Richemont acquires 100 per cent of the capital of Varin-Etampage & Varinor SA (VVSA), a high-end manufacturer of stamped exterior components for watches, gold refiner and producer of semi-finished precious metal products destined for the watch and jewellery industry.
Richemont acquires Peter Millar LLC, a US-based, international luxury apparel business.

With more than 34,000 employees, Compagnie Financière Richemont S.A. is considered one of the largest luxury goods companies in the world. According to Forbes, it is considered one of the Largest Public Companies in the World.

*Information from Forbes.com, Wikipedia.org, and www.richemont.com/en/home.

**Video published on YouTube by “TheWATCHES.tv