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Bill Ackman takes personal stake in Bremont Watches

Yahoo Finance’s Pras Subramanian joins the Live show to examine billionaire investor Bill Ackman's latest investment into British luxury watch brand, Bremont Watches.

Video Transcript


DAVE BRIGGS: All right, watch this space. Activist investor campaigns are ramping up this year after a busy 2022, where rocky markets offered opportunities for some of the world's top investors to shake things up. Now Bill Ackman-- for some, the poster boy of this space-- has taken a stake in the British watchmaker that he wants to make a global leader. Yahoo Finance's Pras Subramanian, a watch connoisseur I do believe, has more.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Yeah, you know, Bill Ackman putting his money where his mouth is. He's hungry to put that money to work, I think. But it's not actually an activist stake here. He's actually a fan of the brand. He actually-- the story goes, he bought a Bremont watch in London. Loved it so much, wrote a letter to the co-founder saying that he wanted to get involved and wants to learn more about the company.

Lo and behold, they're actually raising money to grow. Bill Ackman, billionaire, has money to do that, help them grow. So he said he's putting money, 59 million bucks, along with another fund to fund their growth. So very excited here. And he says he's a long-term player, not a typical PE investor. Says he, quote, "wants to be a forever investor." It sounds more like Warren Buffett, if you ask me, you know?

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, Pras, what do you make just of the interest that we have in the watch space right now? Obviously, Ackman getting into this, clearly a very high-profile, well-known name. In terms of some of the changes that he might bring to this brand, what do you see potentially happening?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: You know, beyond the money, right, he's also a known [INAUDIBLE] can raise more money. He's a pretty-- obviously a well-connected guy. But I think the watch space itself has kind of blown up since the pandemic. And maybe he sees an opportunity here for big growth. He notes that Breitling, the Swiss brand Breitling, sold to a private equity company for $4.2 billion. So, you know, right now, Bremont is kind of a fraction of that. So maybe he sees that long term, this is actually potentially not only a play for him for his interest, but also a play that can make him some money down the line.

DAVE BRIGGS: Are they in that price category, Bremont and Breitling, same neck of the woods?

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Ish, ish. So Bremont watches are around 3,500 bucks, up to $25,000 or so. I think Breitling's a little bit more, in the 5,000 to 6,000 starting range, then it goes up exponentially from there. So we're in the same aviation theme kind of watches. It's the whole kind of vibe with Breitling, and also Bremont too. So I guess what we're seeing is that kind of-- can they emulate that playbook from the British watchmakers? Which is kind of like a new thing.

DAVE BRIGGS: All right, Pras, thank you so much. Appreciate that.