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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Harry Winston Increases Stake in Canadian Diamond Mine

Harry Winston Diamond Corp. said Friday it has struck a deal to purchase an additional 9 percent stake in Diavik Diamond Mine for $220 million from Kinross Gold Corp. When the purchase is finalized, Harry Winston will own 40 percent of the mine in Canada’s Northwest Territories of Canada.

Toronto-based Harry Winston will pay Kinross $50 million in cash, 7.1 million in stock and $70 million in debt securities, according to a company statement.

In a related development, Toronto-based Kinross said Friday that it has reached an agreement to sell approximately 15 million common shares of Harry Winston to a group of financial institutions. Kinross' direct ownership interest in Harry Winston following closing of the transaction will be approximately 8.5 percent. Kinross originally acquired the interest in Diavik in March 2009, as part of a deal that saw the company also gain a 19.9 percent stake in Harry Winston for $150 million.

“The transaction represents an opportunity for Harry Winston to consolidate its interest in the Diavik mine, Canada's largest diamond producer and one of the most profitable diamond mines in the world,” Robert Gannicott, Harry Winston chairman and CEO, said in a statement.

Harry Winston Diamond Corp. has assets in the mining and retail segments of the diamond industry. Harry Winston supplies rough diamonds to the global market and the company's retail division is a diamond jeweler and luxury timepiece retailer with salons in key locations, including New York, Paris, London, Beijing, Tokyo and Beverly Hills.

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