'Eggciting' plan hatched by Gemfields

Yesterday Gemfields, the UK AIM-listed coloured gemstone producer, announced it is intending to acquire Fabergé, the luxury jeweller most famous for its fabulous jewelled eggs.

The deal is costing Gemfields around USD 142m to be settled by the issuance of up to 214 million new ordinary shares, and will be carried out via its Cayman Islands subsidiary, Gemfields Cayman.

Fabergé has an interesting history - it was originally famed for its jewelled eggs, but after being acquired by Unilever in 1989, the brand was introduced to a whole new market of consumers through the launch of the Fabergé-branded aftershave, Brut. In 2007, Unilever sold the business on for a significantly lower price than it paid 18 years earlier, and Fabergé now finds itself again subject to a change of ownership. Gemfields' managing and creative director, Katharina Flohr, is quoted as saying: “The combination with Gemfields presents a unique platform to further develop coloured gemstone products in new and global markets”.

Given Asia’s penchant for luxury brands, it would be no surprise to see this being the market that Gemfields is hoping to crack with its new acquisition.

Filed under: brands, jewellery, luxury, M&A, Asia