Dutch court orders luxury jewelry retailer Tiffany & Co. to pay Swatch $449M in damages

December 23
1:06 AM 2013

New York-based Tiffany & Co. on Sunday said a Dutch arbitration court ruled that it must pay Swatch Group CHF402 million ($448.79 million) in damages over their failed joint venture to produce and market watches.

According to Reuters, Swatch and Tiffany had struck an agreement in 2007 to jointly develop watches under the Tiffany brand. Switzerland's Swatch is the world's largest watchmaker, while Tiffany is an American luxury jewelry retailer.

The arrangement was intended to last for 20 years and give Tiffany a much bigger place in the luxury watch market. But the deal never turned into big business for either company. The partnership ended in acrimony in 2011, the report said.

Swatch and Tiffany sued one another in arbitration court in the Netherlands, where their Tiffany Watch Co. joint venture was domiciled. The case went to arbitration in 2012, Reuters said.

Tiffany chief executive Michael Kowalski said that his company had sufficient financial resources to pay the full amount of damages. Tiffany would fund the award from immediately available cash on hand and funds from existing debt facilities, the report said.  

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