Swatch to Buy Harry Winston Jewelry Business in $1 Billion Deal

On Monday, Harry Winston Diamond Corp. (NYSE: DDC  ) announced it has entered into an agreement to sell its luxury diamond jewelry and timepiece division to Swatch for $750 million.

Additionally, Swatch will take on $250 million in debt that comes with the division.Going forward, Harry Winston will focus on diamond mining, and will continue to supply Swatch with diamonds.

Harry Winston Diamond Corp., which operates in the mining and retail sectors, explained its decision as being brought about by a dramatic increase in the value of "heritage luxury brands" in recent years, and its preference to capitalize on this increase by cashing out its prior purchase of the Harry Winston brand and redeploying the cash "to realize upstream opportunities." The company has agreed to change its name to Dominion Diamond Corp.

The transaction is subject o regulatory approvals.

According to S&P Capital IQ, in its most recent fiscal year, Harry Winston's luxury brand business accounted for nearly 59% of total sales, while mining supplied 41% of the firm's revenues. 

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