British Watchmaker Bremont Nabs $84m Investment From Billionaire Bill Ackman
— Updated on 14 February 2023

British Watchmaker Bremont Nabs $84m Investment From Billionaire Bill Ackman

— Updated on 14 February 2023
Randy Lai
Randy Lai

It isn’t everyday that watch enthusiasts genuinely embrace the axiom about putting one’s money where one’s mouth is, yet that looks to be exactly the case for upstart British watchmaker Bremont – who have just secured some US$59 million in new investment courtesy of billionaire patron Bill Ackman.

Along with long-time private equity backer Hellcat LP, Ackman – who is also a noted collector of Bremont timepieces – recently announced the acquisition of a “substantial minority interest” in the brand, bringing the total amount of funds raised to just shy of AU$84 million.

In a statement issued by Bremont co-founders Nick and Giles English, this rather substantial infusion of capital will be used to boost the “global growth of Bremont”: doubling down on the company’s existing investments in marketing, worldwide distribution and talent.

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Pictured: Bremont co-founders Nick and Giles English.

“Nick and I are thrilled that Bill has moved from collector to investor,” says Giles, “Joining our long-standing shareholder Hellcat as partners in [the brand].”

In light of the English brothers’ track record, Ackman’s vote of confidence in Bremont would appear to be well-placed. Since launching in 2002, Bremont has expanded to build its own 35,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility outside London; and become the exclusive supplier of wristwatches to the British Ministry of Defence (nearly 30% of annual sales are credited to active military personnel).

Recently, the company even unveiled the ENG300: a self-winding movement with silicone escapement that, in very large part, makes use of components manufactured in the brand’s new ‘Wing’ facility. Among other things, this British-made movement powers Bremont’s new Supernova: a steel sports watch on an integrated bracelet that constitutes one of the most significant releases yet for the brand.

One of the lesser covered – and arguably most compelling – aspects of this recent funding push pertain to Ackman’s mode of support. Rather than investing through hedge fund Pershing Square Capital Management (of which he is the founder) the billionaire investor has opted to back Bremont as a private individual – again, signifying in no uncertain terms that he is confident about the future prospects of what is undoubtedly Britain’s biggest homegrown commercial watch brand.

“There is a benefit to having us invest [in this way] versus private equity or a sale,” said Ackman in an interview with the Financial Times.

“Bremont has a very long mandate and we can be a forever investor.”

No doubt, Ackman predicts Bremont will go the way of fellow industry competitor Breitling – valued at CHF$800 million (approx. AU$1.24 billion) this past December, as part of a majority takeover by private equity firm Partner Group.

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Randy Lai
Following 6 years in the trenches covering consumer luxury across East Asia, Randy joins Boss Hunting as the team's Commercial Editor. His work has been featured in A Collected Man, M.J. Bale, Soho Home, and the BurdaLuxury portfolio of lifestyle media titles. An ardent watch enthusiast, boozehound and sometimes-menswear dork, drop Randy a line at [email protected].


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