The Competition Commission has approved a bid by Sanlam’s private equity arm to buy Bacher and Company, a major importer and distributor of luxury perfumes and watch brands.
“The commission is of the view that the proposed transaction is unlikely to substantially lessen or prevent competition in any market. In addition, the proposed transaction does not raise public interest concerns,” it said in a statement last week.
Bacher’s site said its main customers include Edgars, Foschini, Truworths, Woolworths, American Swiss, Dis-Chem and Clicks, among others. Its watch brands include Hugo Boss, Lacoste, Tommy Hilfiger, while its perfume brands include Dunhill, Guess, Jimmy Choo, Karl Lagerfeld and Ted Lapidus. Its own brands include Tomato watches.
The company was started by Solly Bacher, who came to South African from Lithuania in the 1930s. S. Bacher & Company initially imported clothing and consumer products, but its core product became wristwatches in the 1970s. Over the past 10 years it moved into fragrances, jewellery and baby products.
The buyer, Sanlam Private Equity, is managed by Sanlam Investment Management.