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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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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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