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Chinese group buys Corum watch company

Corum is the first "haute horlogerie" brand to be bought by a Chinese company Keystone

The Swiss watchmaker Corum has been acquired by Haldian Holdings Limited of China, marking the first time a Swiss watchmaker with the “haute horlogerie” distinction has been bought out by a Chinese company.

The CHF86 million ($90.6) agreement is intended to allow Haldian to expand its presence in the Swiss luxury watch market while helping Corum to strengthen its brand worldwide, company representatives expressed at this week’s Baselworld watch industry trade fair.

Antonio Calce, the CEO of Corum, expressed his belief that Hon Kwak Lung, who heads Haldian’s executive committee, will continue the Swiss watchmaking tradition as head of the company.

“He is a man committed to the preservation and development of the Swiss watch industry, craftsmanship and know-how we have in the region,” Calce said. Calce will remain in his position after the Haldian takeover.

The La-Chaux-de-Fonds-based Corum, which was founded in 1955, was bought by American philanthropist Severin Wunderman in 2000. It employs around 130 people.

Haldian took over the Solothurn-based watch brand Eterna two years ago and also has holdings in the Biel-based Codex watch company.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR