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.
London’s newly opened @designmuseum will look back on the life and work of Azzedine Alaïa in a show that the designer helped to curate before he died of heart failure last month. The retrospective, which Alaïa had worked on with Mark Wilson, chief curator of the @groningermuseum, will look at the impact of his work worldwide. The show, “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier,” will run from May 10 to October 7. Read more about the exhibit on WWD.com #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @zefashioninsider)
@Pharrell and his wife Helen Lasichanh were among the stars that came out to celebrate @rimowa’s first pop-up concept shop. The space, which is located on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, draws inspiration from airport luggage carousels and lounge areas – and features the company’s luggage and accessories. If the pop-up is successful it could pave the way for addition temporary shops throughout the world. #wwdfashion (📷: Owen Kolasinski/BFA)
@carineroitfeld celebrated @crfashionbook’s first calendar last night with a dinner party at Spring Place in Manhattan. Photographed by @stevenkleinstudio, the calendar takes on a fitness theme and features @joansmalls, @gigihadid, @danielle_herrington_ – pictured here – and more. “[Carine Roitfeld] wanted me to feel sexy and she wanted me to be myself and feel it out on my own and do what I felt was right,” said Herrington, aka Miss October. #wwdeye
@saintrecords and @virgilabloh last night at @americanexpress’ “A Night With Success Makers” event. “I always bring it back to community because without that I wouldn’t have the courage,” said Knowles when asked how she has gotten where she is now. Read more highlights from their conversation on WWD.com. #wwdeye (📷: @lizdoupnik)
This Just In: Industry sources have told WWD that Anastasia Soare is rumored to be considering selling her beauty business, @anastasiabeverlyhills. According to those sources, Soare has tapped investment bank Imperial Capital to explore sale options for her eponymous beauty brand –– and with at least $340 million in net sales, this would be a big deal. Put in context of other recent transactions for makeup companies, Soare’s price tag could be in the billions if she were to sell the whole thing. #wwdnews #wwdbeauty (📷: @clint_spaulding)
@assouline’s latest book, “The Spirit of Bentley: Be Extraordinary” captures the adventurous attitudes and opulent lifestyles of @bentleymotors’ most creative owners and enthusiasts throughout the U.K. The 292-page hardcover has a section dedicated to showing its team of skilled artisans and photos of its most colorful owners, from George Bamford to designer @alicetemperley, pictured here by Aline Coquelle. #wwdeye
@google released its report on the most popular search terms this year. For fashion brands, the list was led by @gucci, the luxury brand that stunned the market last October when it pledged to stop using fur. Runner ups were @supremenewyork and @fashionnova, along with more established brands like @louisvuitton, @chanelofficial and @ysl. #wwdfashion (📷: @aitorrosasphoto)
In yet another fashion show shuffle, @elleryland is moving its show in sync with the Paris couture calendar — though the brand is still keeping one foot on the city’s ready-to-wear schedule. Their runway show in January will coincide with the launch of a new strategy: designing two main collections each year instead of four, which will then be released in four drops. “As we all know, the system needs to change. We need to show sooner to give time back to artisans and designers to do what they do best — create,” said founder Kym Ellery. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@maxmara’s classic 101801 coat was the cornerstone of its pre-fall 2018 collection. The design team expanded the traditional double-breasted, kimono-sleeved style into a trapeze coat, lean belted styles and a peacoat and presented them in monochromatic looks – like the camel one pictured here. #wwdfashion #prefall18 (📷: George Chinsee)