Singapore

Cortina Holdings proposes to acquire rival Sincere Watch for $84.5m

Luxury watch retailer Cortina Holdings, which carries well-known brands such as Rolex and Patek Philippe, has proposed to acquire rival Sincere Watch for $84.5 million in cash.

The proposed acquisition will provide Cortina with exclusive distributorship rights to the Franck Muller brand in 12 countries within Asia-Pacific, said the mainboard-listed company in an exchange filing yesterday.

Shares of Cortina rose to close 3.86 per cent higher at $2.15 yesterday, after trading as much as 11 per cent up after the announcement.

Sincere Watch, founded in 1954, operates 18 boutiques, with a portfolio that includes Omega, Audemars Piguet, Panerai and Tudor.

MULTI-BRAND

It runs multi-brand retail outlets under the Sincere brand in Singapore and Malaysia, and under the Pendulum brand in Thailand.

In addition, it runs boutiques for Franck Muller in Singapore and Australia, A. Lange & Söhne in Malaysia, as well as A. Lange & Söhne, Breitling and IWC in Thailand.

Cortina, on the other hand, started out as a small watch shop in 1972 at Colombo Court. Today, it has more than 20 boutiques across Asia, including Indonesia and Hong Kong.

The deal will give Cortina access to Sincere's arsenal of brands that can be distributed across 40 combined outlets and create operational synergies, said Cortina.

The acquisition will include Sincere Watch's several subsidiaries and an associated company.

The purchase price of $84.5 million represents a discount of about 0.2 per cent from the net tangible assets of the target group - Sincere Watch, its subsidiaries and the associated company - as at June 30.

Cortina intends to raise around 60 per cent of the sum from bank borrowings and the remainder through internal resources. - THE BUSINESS TIMES

BUSINESS & FINANCE