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




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

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




When Sales Beat Projections, You Know Wilkerson Did Its Job

There are no crystal balls when it comes to sales projections. But when Thomasville, Georgia jeweler Fran Lewis chose Wilkerson to run the retirement/going-out-of-business sale for Lewis Jewelers and More, she was pleasantly surprised to learn that even Wilkerson could one-up its own sales numbers. “Not only did we meet our goal, but we exceeded the goal that Wilkerson had given us by about 134%,” she says. After more than 40 years in the business, Lewis says she decided a few years ago to “move towards retirement.” And she was impressed by Wilkerson’s tenure in the industry. Overall, she’d recommend the company to anyone else who may be thinking it’s time to hang up their loupe. “As a full package, they’ve done a very good job and I’d definitely recommend Wilkerson.”

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