Home » South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert’s Richemont acquires Italian jeweler

South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert’s Richemont acquires Italian jeweler

The Vhernier acquisition comes as analysts and investors await Richemont's 2024 annual results. Despite global uncertainties, the group's third-quarter sales in fiscal 2024 surpassed $6.1 billion

by Omokolade Ajayi
Johann Rupert

Swiss luxury giant Richemont, led by South Africa’s richest man Johann Rupert, has further expanded its brand portfolio with the acquisition of Italian jeweler Vhernier S.p.A. (Vhernier).

The group announced the deal earlier this week, stating it “has reached an agreement to acquire 100 percent of Vhernier, the distinctive Italian jewelry Maison, in a private transaction.”

Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, the Vhernier acquisition is not expected to materially impact Richemont’s net assets or operating results for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2025. The transaction aligns with Richemont

Richemont bolsters jewelry portfolio with Vhernier acquisition

The transaction aligns with Richemont’s growth strategy under Rupert’s leadership and deepens the group’s jewelry holdings, which include prestigious brands like Buccellati, Cartier, and Van Cleef & Arpels.

Founded in 1984 in Valenza, Italy, and headquartered in Milan, Vhernier is renowned for its modern aesthetic and commitment to exceptional craftsmanship. Acquired by the Traglio family in 2001, Vhernier is expected to leverage Richemont’s global reach to expand its network of mono-brand boutiques and distribution in key markets like Europe and the United States.

Commenting on the deal, Vhernier Chairman Carlo Traglio and CEO Maurizio Traglio said, “We are pleased for Maison Vhernier to join Richemont, the undisputed leader in design jewelry. We firmly believe that our distinctive jewelry Maison will flourish under Richemont’s stewardship, expertise, and careful nurturing.”

Johann Rupert, Chairman of Richemont and South Africa’s richest man, added, “Maison Vhernier brings a distinguished and distinctive design that beautifully blends modern, sleek, and elegant shapes with unconventional materials, magnified by exceptional craftsmanship. This unique aesthetic perfectly complements our existing collection of renowned jewelry Maisons.”

Richemont’s performance buoys acquisition

The Vhernier acquisition comes as analysts and investors await Richemont’s 2024 annual results. Despite global uncertainties, the group’s third-quarter sales in fiscal 2024 surpassed $6.1 billion, reflecting an eight-percent increase at constant exchange rates and a four-percent rise at actual rates.

This sales surge was driven by strong performances in key regions, particularly Japan, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. The Asia-Pacific region saw a 13-percent sales increase, fueled by a 25-percent jump in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau combined.

Richemont’s stock soars, boosting Johann Rupert’s net worth

Richemont’s stock price has risen more than 20 percent year-to-date, pushing its market capitalization above $80 billion. This strong performance has benefited shareholders, including Johann Rupert, who owns 10.18 percent of the company and controls 51 percent of voting rights.

His net worth has increased by $614 million this year to $13 billion, solidifying his position as South Africa’s richest man. His stake in Richemont is currently valued at $9.16 billion.

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