ICE, EJEWELRY IN TALKS

NEW YORK — Montreal-based online jeweler Ice.com is in discussions to acquire rival e-tailer eJewelry.
“Ice.com is talking to several jewelry sites, including eJewelry, with a view to acquisition,” Ice.com chief executive officer Shmuel Gniwisch told WWD Friday, confirming a published report but declining to specify other targets. “Fortunately for us, and unfortunately for them, the landscape has shifted, and we’re looking at different companies and various potential synergies.”
The online jewelry sector has been among the hardest hit by the e-commerce shakeout, with Web sites such as Miadora.com closing last September; Compagnie Financiere Richemont-backed Adornis going dark in October, and Mondera.com cutting 65 percent of its workforce in the last year.
Fairfield, Ohio-based eJewelry has had no success in landing a first round of financing with venture capitalists.
Ice.com’s sales grew to about $10 million for 2000, a ninefold leap over sales a year earlier, said Gniwisch, who noted that the Web site does the second-largest jewelry business online. The leader is Ashford.com, which is funded, in part, by Europatweb, Bernard Arnault’s Internet development vehicle.