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Birks Group to sell Mayor’s Jewelers to UK-based Aurum

RBR Staff Writer Published 14 August 2017

Canadian jeweler Birks Group has agreed to divest its US subsidiary Mayor’s Jewelers to British fine watch and jewelry retailer Aurum for nearly $104.6m.

Under the terms of the deal, Aurum has agreed to sell the fine jewelry collection of Birks in the UK for a period of five years. The distribution agreement in this regard will be for the sale of the Birks jewelry at Aurum-owned Mappin & Webb, Goldsmiths stores along with their online shopping sites.

Also, the agreement allows Birks jewelry collections to be still sold in the US through the stores of Mayor’s Jewelers in Georgia and Florida states.

Birks Group says that the transaction is a major achievement in its strategy to transform the Birks brand into a global luxury brand.

Birks Group president and CEO Jean-Christophe Bédos said: “This transaction is a significant step in our efforts to strengthen our balance sheet to better position the Company for growth as well as long-term shareholder value.”

“We believe that monetizing the value of Mayors gives us the ability to execute our strategic vision of investing in the Birks brand together with the retailing of internationally-renowned jewelry and timepiece brands in Canada, thus transforming Birks into a global, omni-channel business.”

The Canadian jeweler plans to use the transaction proceeds to fuel its strategic growth initiatives. Particularly, it will use it to invest in its flagship stores and new store concepts in Canada and on the wholesaling activities and e-commerce of the Birks brand.

Aurum president Brian Duffy said: “We have admired Mayors for some time and see a great deal of similarities with how we operate our business in the U.K. Mayors has built a fantastic reputation in Florida and Atlanta, Georgia over many decades.”

According to Duffy, the Mayors transaction comes after Aurum’s decision to open a flagship Watches of Switzerland store in New York City while confirming the group’s goal to be a key part of the Swiss watch market in the US.

The transaction, which is based on meeting of certain closing conditions and purchase price adjustments, is likely to be completed in this year’s fall.

Image: The Birks store in Vancouver, Canada. Photo: courtesy of Dllu/Wikipedia.org.