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Watches, family businesses and luxury conglomerates - A recipe for success?

By Attracta Mooney

When luxury conglomerates like LVMH and PPR take majority ownership in family businesses, it can often spell the end of the founding family’s values. But not so at the Sowind Group, says the son of the founder.

During the summer, François-Henri Pinault’s PPR, the business behind big names including Gucci and Alexander McQueen, raised its stake in Swiss watchmaker Sowind to 50.1%, up from 23%.

This week, speaking to the New York Times, family member Stefano Macaluso, managing director of one of Sowind’s brands, Girard-Perregaux, appeared pleased with the family business’s closer relationship with PPR.

And it’s not just the impressive marketing budgets and massive global reach of PPR that’s keeping him happy. “There is also a good fit because both entities – PPR and Sowind – have a family business feeling,” he said.

Sowind was founded by Stefano’s father, the late Luigi Macaluso, in 1988, but some of its luxury watch brands can trace their history back hundreds of years.  

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