Harry Winston not ready to part with jewellery biz

HW_Emerald_Cut_Ring.jpg

CEO says division needs at least a year’s worth of investment.

Harry Winston chief executive Robert Gannicott has said that the company has no immediate plans to sell off its jewellery division although he did say that it is a long-term plan for the business.

In a conference call with investors Gannicott described the jewellery division being separated from its mining operations or sold as a certainty, but said that such a transaction would not happen any time soon.

Gannicott said: “In the fullness of time, it will certainly either become separated or be sold to someone that can do better with it than we would be able to, but clearly that time is not now."

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He went on to say that the company feels that the division requires further investment before it could be sold or separated, which he estimated would take at least another 12 months.

Rumours in the market have been rife of a sale of the division, which would allow Harry Winston to better focus on its diamond mining business but the company has always denied being in active talks with buyers, despite hinting at interested parties.

Last month Harry Winston agreed to buy BHP Billiton’s Ekati diamond mine in Canada for more than £300 million, and during the conference call Gannicott said that he believed the diamond market is on the up.

He said: "We do not expect rapid near-term rises in rough diamond prices, but we do believe the corner has been turned in an industry where demand is clearly poised to outstrip supply."

 

 

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