Boost for UK watchmaker Bremont as US billionaire Bill Ackman takes stake

Boost for UK watchmaker Bremont as US billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman takes a minority stake

Billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman has taken a minority stake in watchmaker Bremont after becoming a customer.

The US activist investor has pumped £48.4million into the Henley-on-Thames based company alongside long-standing investor Hellcat.

The move will help Bremont bring large-scale watchmaking back to the UK.

US activist investor Bill Ackman has pumped £48.4m into Henley-on-Thames based watchmaker Bremont alongside long-standing investor Hellcat

Ackman said he has ‘long admired’ the company and last summer sent a handwritten note to brothers Nick and Giles English, who co-founded Bremont in 2002.

The 56-year-old founder and boss of Pershing Square Capital Management – which is based in New York – has ploughed his own private funds into the British business and said he will help it recruit a chief executive. 

Bremont, known for selling products to those in the military and with its headquarters in Henley-on-Thames, London, is now valued at more than £100million.

The Wall Street financier said he was ‘thrilled’ to have become a shareholder ‘at a fulcrum point in the company’s evolution’ and would see it reach its ‘rightful position as a global leader in watchmaking’.

Fresh capital was ‘not just a boost for Bremont, but also for Britain’, Giles English said.

A year and a half ago, the watchmaker opened a 35,000 sq ft manufacturing and technology hub in Henley.