National diamond giant Signet Jewelers Limited — whose brands include Kay Jewelers, Zales and Jared — is acquiring Charlotte-based Diamonds Direct for $490 million in cash.
Between the lines: Customers won’t notice much change following the acquisition. In a statement Tuesday, a Diamonds Direct spokesperson said the company’s leadership team, store fronts and branded offerings will all remain intact.
- Signet will retain the Diamonds Direct brand, the company said. It plans to position Diamonds Direct “as a new and differentiated luxury offering” in its portfolio.
“As a result of this transaction, everything our customers know and love about Diamonds Direct will just be getting better,” Diamonds Direct’s VP of marketing Kelsey Halford Diachenko said in an email.
Why it matters: Started in Charlotte in 1995, Diamonds Direct became a worldwide success in this “put a ring on it” era. Over the years, it’s become a household name in Charlotte, known for its engagement rings and other fine jewelry. Now, it’s sold for nearly half a billion dollars.
- A sign of its optimism, Signet raised its financial outlook because of the deal. The company upped its revenue forecast to as much as $7.19 billion in fiscal 2022. That’s an increase of $240 million from the high end of its previous forecast, per Bloomberg.
Zoom out: With the Diamonds Direct purchase, Signet is betting on the post-pandemic resurgence of the bridal industry, as Bloomberg reported. In Charlotte, pent-up demand following business restrictions last year has resulted in a frenetic wedding season this year.
Flashback: In 2015, the investment firm Blackstone acquired Diamonds Direct for an undisclosed amount.
Diamonds Direct operates 22 stores nationwide. In Charlotte, the company operates one retail location (on Sharon Road in SouthPark) as well as its headquarters offices. Between the two locations, the company employs about 100 locally.
The two companies expect the deal to close sometime in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2022.