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Fabergé set to become leader in coloured gemstones
Fabergé set to become leader in coloured gemstones

Mining company to acquire Fabergé

Leading UK-based coloured gemstone mining company Gemfields is poised to purchase luxury jewellery brand Fabergé with a view to creating “a globally-recognised coloured gemstone champion”.
The acquisition is designed to position Fabergé, best known for its jewelled eggs, as a coloured gemstone retailer of choice within the luxury retail sector. Also, it is hoped that both companies would benefit from marketing, communication, management and supply synergies. 

The decision by a miner to purchase a jewellery company appears to reverse a recent “trend” reported in Jeweller. Harry Winston has acquired BHP Billiton’s 80 per cent stake in its Canada-based Ekati diamond mine, to add to its 40 per cent share of Rio Tinto’s diamond mine in the same region. And Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group has signed a two-year contract to source rough diamonds directly from Russian producer Alrosa.

The Fabergé acquisition is valued at approximately $140 million and will be paid by issuing Gemfields shares. The purchase will be finalised following shareholder approval at the company’s AGM next month. 

Gemfields chief executive Ian Harebottle said: “Gemfields has firmly established itself as ‘the Coloured Gemstone Mining Company’ and the proposed acquisition of Fabergé further enhances our potential to be recognised as the leading coloured gemstone company.”

Mining and consumer sales 
Harebottle stated that by acquiring Fabergé, both companies could operate as leaders in the two most profitable segments within the gemstone supply chain – mining and consumer sales.

He said the partnership had the potential to deliver significant value, expanded growth and diversification opportunities to the company and its shareholders.

“Gemfields has made excellent strides in its coloured gemstones mining and marketing initiatives, which will remain core to our business. However, we are confident that we will be able to put the new and exciting opportunities and natural synergies, that a globally-recognised brand of Fabergé’s standing is able to offer us, to good use.

“I have no doubt that Fabergé will help to further accelerate demand for Gemfields’ ethically-sourced premium coloured gemstones, actively championing the coloured gemstone industry and providing a directly-controlled showcase for our finest gems. We look forward to moving into what is a considerably larger and grander market space than that which was previously available to the Gemfields brand.”

Managing and creative director at Fabergé, Katharina Flohr, said: “The combination with Gemfields presents a unique platform to further develop coloured gemstone products in new and existing global markets.”

“Both businesses are fortunate to share the same vision and to recognise the exciting long term opportunity that exists within the combination of the coloured gemstone and luxury goods markets. Gemfields’ leading market position is in part due to its ability to supply ethically produced coloured gemstones on a large scale but is also due to its extensive marketing initiatives, both of which are certain to be developed further by Fabergé, to the benefit of both companies and the sector as a whole.”

While Gemfields will continue to sell its rough coloured gemstone production through its established auction platform, the acquisition of Fabergé will provide Gemfields with direct control over a high-end luxury goods platform.

Sydney-based company Vendome recently acquired the Australian and New Zealand distribution rights and at the time of publication the only retail outlet for Fabergé’s range is Vendome’s Castlereagh Street store. 

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