The world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry plans to acquire Charlotte-based Diamonds Direct in a $490 million deal.
Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG) said today that it has entered into an agreement to buy the local jewelry chain in an all-cash transaction. It would add to the Bermuda company’s portfolio of jewelry brands that already consists of Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, H. Samuel and Ernest Jones, among others. Signet operates about 2,800 stores altogether.
“The accretive addition of Diamonds Direct to our portfolio will further drive shareholder value with its distinct bridal-focused shopping experience and add a new entry point as we build lifetime customer relationships and strive to reach our $9 billion revenue goal over time,” Signet CEO Virginia C. Drosos said in a press release.
Shares in the company were trading at $80.88 at 2:30 p.m. today, down about 1.4% from $82.05 at yesterday’s close.
Diamonds Direct is currently owned by private-equity firm Blackstone Group (NYSE: BX), which purchased the company in 2015 for an undisclosed amount.
Diamonds Direct was founded in 1995 in Charlotte. It now has 22 locations in 13 states, as well as an online presence. That includes its flagship store in SouthPark, at 4521 Sharon Road.
The Diamonds Direct leadership team, storefronts and branded offerings will remain in place following the acquisition, according to a company spokeswoman.
“Signet will retain the Diamonds Direct brand and our unique value proposition as a separate banner, and plans to position Diamonds Direct as a new and differentiated luxury offering among the Signet portfolio,” Kelsey Halford Diachenko said in an emailed statement to CBJ.
She added that Diamonds Direct is “really excited about the opportunities” it will have with Signet once the deal closes.
Itay Berger, current president of Diamonds Direct, will report directly to Drosos.
The jeweler has a buying office inside the world diamond exchange in Israel. That allows it to source directly from mines and diamond cutters around the globe, and handpick merchandise.
It offers loose and mounted diamonds, bridal jewelry, diamond and gemstone fashion jewelry, and designer jewelry from America’s top brands.
“As a result of this transaction, everything our customers know and love about Diamonds Direct will just be getting bigger and better,” Diachenko said. “While Signet will infuse their resources into our business to fuel our growth, the heart of who we are, how we operate and what we believe in will not change.”
The deal is expected to be completed in Signet’s fourth quarter of fiscal 2022, putting the anticipated closing date sometime between November and the first of February.