Patek Philippe Chairman Says Company Is Not for Sale

GENEVA, Switzerland — The 180-year-old Swiss watchmaker Patek Philippe is not for sale, according to the company’s chairman.

The maker of $10,000-plus Calatrava timepieces is staying in hands of the Stern family, which has owned it for four generations, Chairman Thierry Stern said in an interview. He said he hopes his children, who are still teenagers, will someday inherit the company.

“If it’s not my children, then there’ll be a new chief executive, but for sure it’s not in our plan to sell Patek,” Stern said at the Baselworld watch fair.

Speculation about a possible sale of one of the last big independent watchmakers arose in January, when Berenberg analysts pointed to chatter at the Geneva watch salon that a sale could be approaching. They said a deal could fetch €7 billion to €9 billion ($8 billion to $10 billion).

Many of the brand’s rivals have been snapped up in recent years by luxury companies Richemont, Swatch Group and Kering. Patek Philippe says on its website that the company’s “intention is to independently pursue the path that led to its success.”

By Corinne Gretler; editors: Eric Pfanner and John Lauerman.

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