Swiss watchmaker The Swatch Group Ltd on Thursday said it was buying full control of Delemont-based premium watch cases manufacturer Simon Et Membrez SA from current owners Philippe Membrez, Etienne Membrez and Didier Membrez.
Swatch Group, which has a long-standing business relationship with Simon Et Membrez for some of its watch brands, did not disclose the price it would pay to take it over.
Simon Et Membrez is seen to complement the operations of Swatch Group’s watch casings specialists Comadur, Manufacture Ruedin and Lascor, the buyer said.
The deal also includes the related 60% interest in case polishing firm Termiboites SA with 50 employees based in Courtemaiche.
Simon Et Membrez, employing 250 at its Delemont plant, makes gold, titanium, platinum, palladium and premium-quality steel watch cases using ultra-modern machinery and advanced, environmentally aware technology.
The company will continue to operate under its current name with chief executive Philippe Membrez and his team to remain in charge of the day-with-day business. It will also continue to be a supplier for third parties, Swatch Group said.
The Membrez family established the firm in 1975, with its new plant in Delemont inaugurated in 2008 and then expanded last year.
Swatch Group, employing more than 28,000 staff in 50 countries, is involved in the design, manufacture and sale of finished watches, jewelry, watch movements and components.