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It’s Official: 17-Store Jewelry Chain Sells for $108M

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The deal was announced in August.

(Press Release) MONTREAL — Birks Group Inc. has completed the previously announced sale of its subsidiary Mayor’s Jewelers Inc. to Aurum Group USA, Inc., a subsidiary of Aurum Holdings Ltd., the largest fine watch and jewelry retailer in the U.K. Gross proceeds from the sale were about $108 million.

Jean-Christophe Bédos, CEO of Birks Group (NYSE American LLC: BGI), said, “The completion of this transaction positions Birks on the right path for future growth. We believe it will accelerate the transformation of Birks into an international omni-channel business poised to achieve its growth objectives. Furthermore, the successful launch of the Birks jewelry brand in the U.K. on October 9th, 2017 was a significant step towards our goal of becoming a globally-renowned luxury brand. We would like to thank all our colleagues and friends at Mayors for their dedication and great work as part of the Birks Group. We wish them much success under the leadership of Aurum.”

Brian Duffy, CEO of Aurum Holdings, said: “We are delighted to complete the transaction of Mayors by the Aurum Group. We now enter into a period of transition where we will be liaising closely with the Birks team and we look forward to welcoming 326 members of the Mayors team to the Aurum family. This announcement follows our announcement to open a flagship Watches of Switzerland store in Hudson Yards NYC and confirms the ambition of our group to be an important part of the Swiss watch market in the USA.”

The proceeds from this transaction were used to pay down most of the company’s outstanding debt under its senior secured facilities that include term debt and working capital debt. Concurrently with the closing of the transaction, the company entered into a new credit facility with Wells Fargo for a maximum amount of CAN$85 million (more details of the Wells Fargo financing will be provided by the Company). As a result of the foregoing, Birks will have greater financial flexibility and funds to implement the next phase of its strategic plan, which includes the renovation of its Canadian flagship stores, new store concepts as well as high-growth omni-channel areas that include e-commerce and wholesale activities for the Birks jewelry brand collections.

As part of the agreement between Birks and Aurum, the Birks Brand collections of fine jewelry will be offered in 16 locations in the U.S. through the Mayors network as well as in 12 locations in the U.K. at various Mappin & Webb and Goldsmiths stores in addition to their respective e-commerce sites. Birks will continue to offer a portfolio of distinctive fine jewelry and timepiece brands to its Canadian customers through its Birks and Brinkhaus banners, as well as its e-commerce website birks.com.

Vendôme Global Partners LLC and Eureka Capital Markets, LLC acted as financial advisers to Birks.

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Blue Nile Names CEO from Outside Jewelry Industry

He brings nearly 20 years of executive leadership experience.

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Blue Nile CEO Sean Krell

Sean Krell

SEATTLE — Blue Nile, the largest online retailer of certified diamonds and fine jewelry, announced the appointment of Sean Kell as CEO.

Kell most recently served as CEO at A Place for Mom, America’s largest senior living referral service. He brings nearly 20 years of executive leadership in ecommerce, digital innovation, brand marketing, call center operations and product management across organizations such as Expedia, Hotels.com and Starbucks.

“Blue Nile revolutionized the consumer experience of purchasing diamonds and fine jewelry online,” said Kell. “The opportunity to deepen customer relationships and offer an extraordinary experience when shopping for the most cherished moments in their lives is an honor. I am excited to join the team and amplify our strategic priorities.”

Kell succeeds Eric Anderson, who has served as the company’s interim CEO since January 2019.

“As the engagement ring and fine jewelry industries continue to evolve, Sean’s leadership and strategic vision will elevate Blue Nile’s modern approach to becoming our customer’s jeweler for life,” said David Humphrey, a managing director at Bain Capital Private Equity and a member of the board of directors.

“Sean is a seasoned leader, and we are thrilled to have him as Blue Nile’s next CEO.”

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Jeweler Hit With Sledgehammer While Fighting Off Robbers (VIDEO)

Four suspects were arrested.

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A jewelry-store owner in Santa Monica, CA, was hit with a sledgehammer during a robbery, KABC-TV reports.

Three juveniles and an adult were reportedly involved in the smash-and-grab robbery at Heist Jewelry, which took place Thursday afternoon.

The owner pushed one of the suspects out of the store, and another suspect struck the owner with the sledgehammer, according to the report.

The suspects fled, leaving the owner with minor injuries.

Police soon found and arrested all four suspects.

The adult suspect was booed on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, news outlets reported. The juveniles were booked on suspicion of conspiracy to commit a crime, robbery and assault.

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Power-Cutting Burglars Target Jewelry Stores in Northeast

The trend has spread to New Jersey and Connecticut.

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The Jewelers’ Security Alliance reports that power-cutting thieves have been targeting jewelry stores in the Northeast.

The latest incidents took place in New Jersey and Connecticut. The pattern has played out in many states, with burglars cutting jewelry stores’ power lines in order to disable alarm systems, but previously had occurred mainly in the West, Midwest and South.

These are the incidents the JSA reported in a bulletin to retailers:

Morris Plains, NJ, July 27

At 6:45 p.m. on a Sunday evening two males and one female cut the power to a retail jewelry store, but police reported they left without trying to get inside the store. The same gang was reported to have done the same thing at jewelry stores in Sparta, NJ, on July 26, 2019, and in Bedminster, NJ.

Darien, CT, Aug. 8

At 11:20 p.m. suspects turned the power off at a downtown jewelry store at the outside electrical box. The power interruption tripped the burglar alarm, and the suspects waited for the police response. On Saturday, August 10, the same suspects returned at 6:20 p.m. and again turned the power off. It is believed that the suspects again waited to observe police response, and to wait for the back-up battery to be exhausted. However, no entry was made to the store. 

Fairfield, CT, Aug. 11

Between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 11, a retail jeweler received a call from his alarm company regarding the loss of power to his store. The jeweler discovered the electrical meter cover had been pried off the box. The police responded and no suspects were observed.

JSA reported in June that it was aware of over 50 cases in which burglars had cut power lines.

The burglars cut the power lines soon after a store has closed for the night, then wait nearby to see the response by the owner or police, according to JSA.

The burglars have not carried out safe burglaries at all of the stores.

 

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