14 January 2013 4:06 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

World's biggest watchmaker buys jeweller immortalised by Marilyn Monroe in Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

"Harry Winston, tell me all about it!" sang Marilyn Monroe breathlessly in Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend. Now Swatch is paying up to $1bn (£619m) for the glamorous jeweller and watchmaker in a hope of buying a piece of Hollywood legend.

The world's biggest watchmaker is paying $750m for Harry Winston, which employs 535 people, plus up to $250m of net debt. It is not buying Harry Winston's mining activities.

The chair of Swatch, Nayla Hayek, said: "Harry Winston does brilliantly complement the prestige segment of the group. We are proud and happy to welcome Harry Winston to the Swatch Group family," adding, perhaps inevitably: "Diamonds are still a girl's best friend."

It is Swatch's first big takeover in years and comes as watchmakers race to buy up know-how and production facilities around the world. »

- Josephine Moulds

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