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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fabergé and Gemfields Finalize Merger

Gemfields has already started promoting its emeralds through an advertising campaign.

The iconic luxury brand, Fabergé, has completed its merger with colored gemstone miner and distributor, Gemfields. The merger, first announced in November, creates what has been planned all along for Gemfields since its founding fewer than 10 years ago: a way to produce a mine-to-market template for its colored gemstones.

Gemfields owns a majority stake of the Kagem mine in Zambia, which produces emeralds and amethysts, a mine in Mozambique for rubies, and prospecting licenses for other gemstones in Madagascar. Emeralds from Kagem are by far the company’s biggest product.

The plan is that Gemfields will provide an ethical and traceable source of providing its gemstones to consumers, thus fueling demand for its product. To help create this demand, Gemfields already begun an advertising and marketing campaign for its Kagem emeralds.

The merger was managed by private equity mining giant, Pallinghurst, which owned indirect equity interests of 33 percent in Gemfields and 49 percent in Fabergé and also held certain loan interests in Fabergé. After the transaction, Pallinghurst now owns 48 percent of the enlarged Gemfields. The deal reportedly values Fabergé at $142 million and was funded with 214 million shares in Gemfields.

Arne H. Frandsen, Pallinghurst chief executive, previously said that the merged company is the “next step in realizing our vision and strategy for our gemstones and luxury platform…. Once consummated, we will be well on the way to creating the colored gemstone equivalent of what De Beers has created for diamonds.”

“This transaction creates the world’s number one colored gemstone company, operating at both critical ends of the value chain,” Brian Gilbertson, Pallinghurst chairman, said Wednesday. “Gemfields can now take its vision for colored gemstones to the next level and Fabergé becomes the obvious consumer choice for high‐end, ethically supplied colored gemstone jewelry.”

Gemfields previously articulated a number of benefits of the transaction. They include:

* Positioning U.K.-based Gemfields with Fabergé’s heritage operating in the two most profitable segments within the gemstone supply chain;

* Advancing Gemfields’ “Mine and Market” strategy;

* Positioning Fabergé as the colored gemstone retailer of choice within the hard luxury retail sector, a sector with an estimated turnover of $54 billion in 2011 according to the Bain Luxury Market Study;

* Creating marketing, communication, management and supply synergies to deliver operational efficiencies; and

* Creating a platform to further increase Gemfields’ market share within the colored gemstone sector, while gaining exposure to luxury sector multiples and greater influence over product positioning and consumer awareness.

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