Singapore retailer Sincere Watch to be sold to Hong Kong investor

The Business Times in Singapore just ran a story this morning noting the pending sale of Sincere Watch to Pollyanna Chu Yuet Wah, who controls Hong Kong listed Kingston Financial Group. According to the story, Ms Chu, who is also a member of various political bodies in China, is buying Sincere in her personal capacity. The sellers are LVMH backed private equity firm L Capital, various banks as well as Mr Tay Liam Wee, whose father founded Sincere. The price was not disclosed.  The article did not mention if Ms Chu has any interests in the watch industry currently, or what her plans are, though it would seem odd to me personally if she had no connection to the watch industry at all. Also, industry sources however tell me there are certain issues to be resolved and the sale is not yet a done deal.

If the sale is completed it would be the third time Sincere has been sold. In 2007 it was bought by Hong Kong company Peace Mark for a rich SGD530 million. Peace Mark went bankrupt shortly after. Two years later the consortium led by L Capital and Mr Tay paid SGD112.7 million for Sincere.

Sincere Watch was once Singapore’s most avant-garde watch retailer, bringing brands like Lange and FP Journe in the nineties. But the changes in ownership have caused it to fall behind its rivals. Assuming the sale is done, it remains to be seen how this will shape the company.

The full story in The Business Times can be read from 6 pm to 6 am Singapore time (GMT +8) for non-subscribers.


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