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Mon 25 Nov 2013 01:41 PM

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Watch giant Swatch raises stake in Dubai's Rivoli

Swiss firm says it is taking over control of Rivoli which operates 360 stores in the Middle East

Watch giant Swatch raises stake in Dubai's Rivoli

Technocorp Holding Ltd, a Swatch Group company, said on Monday it is increasing its stake in Dubai-based company Rivoli Investments.

In a statement, it said it was purchasing a tranche of shares and would be taking control of Rivoli Investments, without specifying how big a stake it now held.

Swatch Group previously held a 40 percent equity interest in Rivoli Investments, which operates a network of over 360 retail businesses in the Middle East, predominantly active in the watch segment.

The company has a workforce of over 1,500 employees.

Rivoli shops have for a long time offered Swatch Group watch brands for sale in this region.

In October, it was reported that the private equity arm of Dubai Holding, which is owned by the emirate's ruler, was planning to sell its minority stake in Rivoli.

The unit, Dubai International Capital (DIC), was said to be in exclusive negotiations to sell its 18 percent stake in Rivoli Group to Saudi-based Al Rajhi Capital, the investment banking and private equity arm of the kingdom's top listed lender, Al Rajhi Bank.

The Swiss company said in July that it expects a strong second-half after profit rose 6.1 percent to 768 million Swiss francs in the first six months.

The company is expanding in markets outside Asia such as the US.

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