(Bloomberg) -- Partners Group Holding AG plans to increase its stake in Breitling AG to a majority in a deal that would value the storied Swiss watch maker at more than 4.2 billion Swiss francs ($4.5 billion), according to people familiar with the matter. 

The Swiss investment group is in talks to boost its stake to more than 50% from about 23%, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing confidential information. Private equity firm CVC Capital Partners is set to reduce its majority ownership to about 20%, with management and other private investors owning the rest, the people said. 

The valuation assigned to Breitling under the ownership reshuffling underscores a dramatic turnaround for the watch brand orchestrated by Chief Executive Officer Georges Kern. Known for its Navitimer chronographs, Breitling was valued at about 800 million francs when CVC purchased a majority stake in 2017 and about 3 billion francs when Partners first invested in 2021.

The plans to gain a majority stake and potentially sell Breitling shares on the Swiss Stock Exchange in 2027 were reported earlier by Finews, which didn’t include a valuation. Representatives for CVC, Partners Group and Breitling declined to comment.

Founded in 1884 by Leon Breitling, the brand’s sales rose 40% to about 700 million francs in 2021, according to Morgan Stanley estimates. Sales were up another 25% this year on the popularity of Breitling’s Navitimer, Chronomat and Superocean models, Bloomberg News reported in October. 

Breitling’s average selling price has risen as the company uses more gold, precious stones and metals as well as in-house developed movements. Brand ambassadors have included Hollywood stars John Travolta, Adam Driver and Charlize Theron.

Demand for luxury Swiss watches surged during the pandemic with exports hitting a record 22.3 billion francs in 2021. The industry is on track for another record this year with the US overtaking China as the top destination for Swiss timepieces.

(Adds detail on Breitling watches in sixth paragraph. An earlier version of this story corrected a misspelling of Finews.)

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.