In a joint statement with Fabergé, Gemfields said the jeweler wouldprovide the miner with direct control over “a high-end luxury goodsplatform” and a global brand with an exceptional heritage.
“Theproposed acquisition of Fabergé further enhances our potential to berecognized as the leading colored gemstone company,” said IanHarebottle, Gemfields’ chief executive officer.
“It provides exposureto the two most profitable segments in the gemstones value chain,namely mining and consumer sales. Fabergé is a globally recognized brandwith a unique heritage, a history of excellence and a commitment tocolored gemstone products, sales and marketing,” he added.
According to the statement, the deal consolidates the Gemfieldsbrand as The Coloured Gemstone Co. It also “creates a platform toincrease the company’s market share within the colored gemstone sector,while gaining exposure to luxury sector multiples and greater influenceover product positioning and consumer awareness.”
Gemfields will continue to sell its rough colored gemstoneproduction through its established auction platform. The acquisition,which will be paid for in Gemfields shares, is set to be approved byshareholders at the company’s annual meeting next month.
Gemfields has been on an expansion streak: The London-based companythat specializes in Zambian emeralds and colored gemstones is amping upits U.S. presence through a series of initiatives.
It has a new office in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood, plans tobuild an American division and will have a revamped Web site launchingin January. In the pipeline is its first official U.S. ad campaign and aslew of high-end designer collaborations.
The firm, which provides about 20 percent of the world’s emeraldsupply, wants to establish itself as an ethical, fashion-forward luxurybrand.
It’s not the first marriage of mining and luxury the market has seenrecently: Over the past month, Harry Winston purchased the EkatiDiamond Mine and Diamonds Marketing Operations from BHP Billiton, andseparately, a subsidiary of Tiffany & Co. has extended a $6 millionterm loan to DiamondCorp plc, the South African diamond development andexploration company.
As part of the loan agreement, Tiffany’ssubsidiary will have the right to purchase production from DiamondCorp’sLace Mine in South Africa.
Gemfields purchased Fabergé from Pallinghurst Resources and otherinvestors who were operating through a holding company called Rox Ltd.Pallinghurst, which purchased the Fabergé trademarks and licenses fromUnilever in 2007, has spearheaded Fabergé’s revival and its ambitions toposition itself alongside the great heritage brands of the fine jewelryworld such as Cartier, Harry Winston and Tiffany.
Gemfields and Pallinghurst are two companies that know each otherwell: One of the executive directors of Gemfields is Sean Gilbertson,the son of Pallinghurst founder and chairman Brian Gilbertson.
Until now, Pallinghurst and one of its subsidiaries held a majoritystake in Gemfields through Rox Ltd., but Rox will be dismantled as aresult of the Fabergé takeover, with shares handed back to its variousinvestors. When the deal is finalized, Pallinghurst will becomeGemfields’ shareholder of reference, with just less than half theshares.
Fabergé has boutiques and retail concessions in Geneva, New York, London in Mayfair and Harrods in Knightsbridge, and Hong Kong.
According to the statement on Wednesday, Fabergé is set for growth,with revenues rising 367 percent in the financial year to March 31,2012. In the fiscal year to June 30, 2012, Gemfields’ revenues were up108 percent to $83.7 million with profit before tax and exceptionalitems up 140 percent to $47.8 million.
According to the statement, Fabergé is aiming to open an average oftwo stores per annum over the next 10 years, with an aim of 71 stores by2033. Fabergé is targeting $6.5 million of annual sales in the mediumterm for each store added.
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)
@heriethpaul and @gracebol have a moment on the @victoriassecret fashion show 2017. See every look from the runway on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo) #wwdfashion #victoriassecret #VSFashionShow
“Azzedine has been one of the biggest influences in my life. He has always been such a strong, loving, fatherly figure to me. I call him Papa. His designs are indescribably unique, they are pieces of art. He knew how to make the female form look its loveliest. I have so many memories of him; my favorite might be during my first show with him in Paris. He liked me and he wanted to help me get more work. He called all his friends at Kenzo and Comme des Garcons, and asked them to book me. They said, ‘But she can’t walk!’ And he said, ‘but she has such a great ass!' His friendship and support has been the great privilege of my career. I can't imagine life without him. Repose en paix mon Papa.” - @stephanieseymour tells @wwd. #wwdfashion (📷: @steveeichner) #alaia #azzedinealaia
Azzedine Alaïa, flanked by two of his closest friends, models Stephanie Seymour and Naomi Campbell.
He designed Seymour’s dress for her 1995 wedding to Peter Brant, and treated Campbell (who famously called him Papa), like a daughter. For more on the legendary designer, tap the link in bio. #wwdfashion #alaia #azzedinealaia