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17-Store Jewelry Chain to Be Sold in $105M Deal

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The deal is expected to close in the fall.

MONTREAL — Birks Group Inc. announced that it will sell its subsidiary Mayor’s Jewelers Inc. to Aurum Holdings Ltd., the largest fine watch and jewelry retailer in the UK.

The deal is valued at about $104.6 million, according to a press release. It’s subject to closing conditions and purchase price adjustments and is expected to close in the fall.

Mayors operates 16 stores in Florida and Georgia under the Mayors brand and one store under the Rolex brand name. Birks (NYSE MKT LLC: BGI) operates 26 stores under the Birks brand in most major metropolitan markets in Canada and two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand.

As part of the transaction, Birks entered into a five-year distribution agreement with Aurum to sell its products in the UK at Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths stores and on their e-commerce sites. The Birks collections will continue to be sold in the U.S. through Mayors’ stores in Florida and Georgia.

Jean-Christophe Bédos, CEO of Birks Group, said Aurum is “a strategic buyer committed to continuing investing in Mayors’ long-term growth.”

“We believe that monetizing the value of Mayors gives us the ability to execute our strategic vision of investing in the Birks brand together with the retailing of internationally renowned jewelry and timepiece brands in Canada, thus transforming Birks into a global, omni-channel business,” he said. “This transaction with Aurum also opens the doors to the UK market for our jewelry collections and we are extremely proud to join such a prestigious network as Aurum’s under the Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths banners.”

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He said the company looks forward to introducing the Birks brand in other markets, as well.

Aurum’s retail portfolio includes Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watchshop, The Watch Hut and The Watch Lab.

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Orin Mazzoni, Jr., the owner of Orin Jewelers in Garden City and Northville, Michigan, decided it was time to downsize. With two locations and an eye on the future, Mazzoni asked Wilkerson to take the lead on closing the Garden City store. Mazzoni met Wilkerson’s Rick Hayes some years back, he says, and once he made up his mind to consolidate, he and Hayes “set up a timeline” for the sale. Despite the pandemic, Mazzoni says the everything went smoothly. “Many days, we had lines of people waiting to get in,” he says, adding that Wilkerson’s professionalism made it all worthwhile. “Whenever you do an event like this, you think, ‘I’ve been doing this my whole life. Do I really need to pay someone to do it for me?’ But then I realized, these guys are the pros and we need to move forward with them.”

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