LMH

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LMH (Les Manufactures Horologères) was a group of watch companies which was sold to Richemont in 2000.

History

In 1978, VDO purchased IWC. That same year, they also acquired a 55% stake in Jaeger-LeCoultre out of the SAPHIR Group, which also included Favre-Leuba. A rising star inside VDO was engineer, Günter Blümlein, who took on responsibility for the two watch brands in 1980. He engineered a refinancing of the brand, buying out the 20% owned by a local bank and the 25% owned by Vacheron Constantin and selling 40% of the company to Audemars Piguet.

In 1990, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Blümlein worked with Walter and Ferdinand Lange to revive A. Lange & Son in Glashütte. With three watch companies now functioning inside VDO, a logical division of the company was needed for these horological assets. Thus, in 1991, Les Manufactures Horologes (LMH) was created with Blümlein at the helm. That same year, VDO was acquired by Mannesmann.

Vodafone acquired Mannesmann in 1999 and immediately put VDO up for sale. This led to a bidding war for LMH, now a very valuable asset as the market for watches was on the rise, between PPR and LVMH. But Richemont quietly approached Audemars Piguet and agreed to purchase the 40% of Jaeger-LeCoultre that they owned for CHF 280 million. This put them in the driver's seat for LMH as well, and on July 21, 1999, Richemont agreed to purchase LMH for CHF 2.8 billion.

The Richemont acquisition brought IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Lange together with the former Vendôme Luxury Group: Cartier, Vacheron Constantin, Panerai, Piaget, Montblanc, and others.

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