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Aurum Group acquires Preston-based The WATCH Lab

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Aurum Group has acquired 100% of the shares of leading watch repair specialist The WATCH Lab, in a deal advised by the Corporate Finance division of BCMS. 

Headquartered in Preston, Lancashire, The WATCH Lab operates from a network of 16 prime shopping centre locations across the UK, including Lakeside Thurrock, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, Glasgow Silverburn and Trinity Shopping Centre, Leeds.

Aurum Group owns premier brands Watches of Switzerland, Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths and Watch Shop, and the acquisition gives the luxury watch specialist a market-leading watch repair specialist to complement its existing areas of operation.  

Aurum acquired The WATCH Lab from brothers Jonathan and Jeremy Barker, who will retain their current roles in the business.  The value of the deal is not disclosed.

Perspectives on the deal

Brian Duffy, chief executive officer of Aurum Group said: “We are thrilled to acquire The WATCH Lab, a fantastic business and a market leader in this dynamic area. We believe this is a perfect addition to Aurum’s growing portfolio of outstanding retail brands.”

Jonathan Barker said: “We believe Aurum to be the ideal acquirer for The WATCH Lab. The strength of Aurum and the synergy between the businesses will further enable The WATCH Lab to continue to grow into the household name we always envisaged.” 

Hugh Ashburner, Associate  Director at BCMS, added: “Jonathan and Jeremy Barker have built the Watch Lab into a dynamic business with an impressive footprint across the UK. The company’s specialist skills, service-led model and growing high street presence were key factors in attracting a wide range of potential acquirers.

“We approached and negotiated with some major players in the UK, Europe and the Far East. That said, the clear commercial synergy with Aurum Group – with its stable of premium high street brands, and exceptional reach in the luxury watch market – was clear from our very first meeting.”

See what Jonathan Barker had to say about preparing his business for sale in this on-demand webinar Timing is everything - how to prepare your business for a successful sale.

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Posted Apr 2016
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