PARIS, July 31 U.S. private equity firm
Catterton Partners has acquired Bali-inspired jeweller John
Hardy for an undisclosed sum, closing a transaction that took
months to negotiate.
The deal, which Reuters first reported in May, highlights
growing investor interest in a sector outpacing the broader
luxury industry thanks in part to financially independent Asian
While luxury watchmakers are struggling with a crackdown in
China on gift-giving to officials and several fashion and
accessories brands point to slowing growth in a range of
emerging markets, jewellers are proving more resilient.
John Hardy, a rival of jewellers in the United States such
as David Yurman, sells Asia-themed wares such as $225 silver
dragon earrings as well as men's jewellery, a fast-growing
market, with beads and sailing cord bracelets.
The company is headquartered in Hong Kong, its products are
designed in Bali but the bulk of revenue is generated in the
United States, Canada and the Caribbean. The brand just signed
supermodel Cara Delevingne to be the face of its new campaign.
As part of the transaction, Catterton acquired a 22.4
percent stake held by British private equity firm 3i.
Total proceeds to 3i including the stake, preferred shares
and dividend repayments will be around 26 million pounds, with a
further 2 million in anticipated deferred consideration, 3i said
in a separate statement.
The overall terms of deal were not disclosed but sources
close to John Hardy had given the jewellery an enterprise value
- equity plus debt - of between $100 and $120 million.
Damien Dernoncourt, who was chief executive of John Hardy
and its controlling shareholder, will become non-executive
chairman and retain a stake in the company, Catterton said.
He will be replaced by Robert Hanson, former CEO of American
Eagle Outfitters and former global president of Levi's.
"We are confident that John Hardy offers substantial upside
through multiple paths for expansion, and look forward to
working with Robert and the entire team at John Hardy to
capitalize on new market opportunities and realize the company's
significant potential," Michael Chu, managing partner at
Catterton also owns around 22 percent of Paris-listed
crystals specialist Baccarat since 2012 and acts in
concert with investment firm Starwood Capital which controls the
John Hardy was advised by investment bank Rothschild.
(Reporting by Astrid Wendlandt; Editing by Mark Potter)