MOVADO GROUP ACQUIRES JLB BRANDS AND OLIVIA BURTON

In What's New, Industry News by Accessories Staff

The Movado Group expands its industry reach with the recent acquisition of Olivia Burton, an English accessories brand owned by JLB Brands. (Image courtesy of Olivia Burton.)

Movado Group, Inc. has announced its acquisition of JLB Brands Ltd., the owner of the Olivia Burton brand, one of the United Kingdom’s fastest growing fashion watch and jewelry brands, for approximately £60.0 million GBP in cash, subject to working capital and other closing adjustments.

JLB Brands Ltd. was founded by Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings in the UK in 2011 and began selling fashion watches under the Olivia Burton brand in 2012, adding jewelry in 2016. Since 2012, the Company has experienced significant growth in the UK and is in the early stages of expanding internationally. Olivia Burton designs are inspired by both fashion and vintage trends for the millennial consumer at accessible price points, with new watch collections launched every two months. Olivia Burton is sold through leading retailers, including John Lewis, Watchshop, Argento, Selfridges and Beaverbrooks in the UK and recently through Nordstrom in the United States. Olivia Burton also operates a concession at Topshop’s flagship location in Oxford Circus, London. Olivia Burton has approximately 33 employees all based in its Shoreditch head office in East London.

In its latest fiscal year ended March 31, 2017, Olivia Burton’s revenue increased 64% to approximately £15 million and is expected to generate approximately £25 million in net sales in its fiscal year ending March 31, 2018. Driving Olivia Burton’s growth is a continued increase in its core UK market, the expansion of the brand beyond the UK including the introduction of the brand into Nordstrom in July 2016, reaching 117 stores in the U.S. as of January 2017, and a focus on building a direct to consumer business through its e-commerce platform.

Olivia Burton is best known for contemporary accessories such as dainty jewelry and feminine watches. (Image courtesy of Olivia Burton.)

Movado is hoping to capitalize on Olivia Burton’s brand, which is experiencing global growth among both aspirational and millennial consumers. Conversely, Movado Group’s global distribution network will help build and expand Olivia Burton on a global basis.

This deal was transacted using cash held outside the U.S..

Movado Group expects the transaction to be immediately accretive exclusive of transaction related charges and the amortization of anticipated purchase accounting adjustments. The acquisition was funded with cash on hand of Movado Group’s non-U.S. subsidiaries and was completed on July 3, 2017. Movado Group plans to discuss this transaction in more detail when it reports its second quarter fiscal 2018 results.

Olivia Burton will continue to operate under the leadership of Lesa Bennett and Jemma Fennings, its founders, who will report to Efraim Grinberg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Movado Group. Movado Group plans to retain Olivia Burton’s talented team in London.

Efraim Grinberg, Movado Group’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “I have much admired the spectacular job that Lesa and Jemma have done in building the Olivia Burton brand in the UK over the last few years and more recently with the beginning of its international expansion. While at accessible price points, they have kept the brand extremely creative, innovative and aspirational. They’ve also been building a very strong e-commerce business in the UK, which we believe has great potential for global expansion. With this acquisition, we not only reaffirm our commitment to the watch category, but also expand our presence into fashion jewelry. Olivia Burton’s success under Lesa and Jemma’s direction prove that beautifully designed watches and jewelry can continue to excite today’s consumer. I am pleased to collaborate with Lesa and Jemma on the continued global expansion of the Olivia Burton brand.”

Jemma Fennings stated, “We’re thrilled to join Movado Group, which has the global scale and infrastructure required to support our vision for growth for the Olivia Burton brand. Movado Group shares our passion and relentless focus on innovation and this partnership will further strengthen the design of our watch and jewelry offerings and significantly increase our distribution around the world.”

Lesa Bennett added, “We are pleased that Olivia Burton will continue to operate with its current management team and employees, allowing the transaction to be seamless to our valued clients and business partners. We believe that Olivia Burton has tremendous opportunity for growth, and we look forward to becoming part of Movado Group to help the brand reach its potential.”

Movado Group’s financial advisor for this transaction is Centerview Partners LLC and its legal advisor is Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. JLB Brands Ltd’s financial advisor is BDO LLP and its legal advisor is DLA Piper UK LLP.

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