PARIS — De Grisogono has filed for bankruptcy after a months-long sales process failed to turn up a buyer, according to a statement from the company Wednesday, a week after press reports linked the Switzerland-based luxury jeweler to the Luanda Leaks investigation of Isabel dos Santos, the daughter of Angola’s former president.
“For several months, a sale process has been under way. Despite considerable headway, the transaction did not go through,” the jeweler said. “Without financial support of its current shareholders, and without a buyer, the solvency of the company is now under threat, thus making it impossible to continue activities,” it added.
The jewelry house has over the years declined to disclose its ownership, and was recently cited in a series of press reports linking it to the so-called Luanda Leaks investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, which turned up allegations of misuse of Angolan government funds. De Grisogono and dos Santos were not immediately reachable for comment. Dos Santos has said she is the target of a political attack ahead of elections in Angola next year.
The high-end jeweler was founded in 1993 by Fawaz Gruosi, who brushed up lesser-considered stones like black diamonds and the opaque, icy diamond, working them into bold statement pieces for red carpet events.
All 65 employees in Switzerland risk losing their jobs if the bankruptcy filing is accepted by authorities, according to the statement.
Gruosi had stepped away from the privately owned label earlier this year, and the house had brought on French luxury executive Céline Assimon to spearhead renewal efforts. Assimon, who came with experience at Louis Vuitton and Piaget, had set up a residency program to draw in new designers and offered the first position to rising jewelry designer Emmanuel Tarpin.
De Grisogono has stores in London, Paris, Geneva, as well as resort locations like Cannes and Saint Mauritz and Courchevel, in addition to flagships in Dubai, South Korea and Kuwait. Last fall, the house opened a store on Avenue George V.