De Beers acquisition to boost online auctions

Diamond company buys 25% stake in auction service biz Curtis Fitch.

De Beers has today announced plans to strengthen its online rough diamond auctions following the acquisition of a 25% equity stake in online auction service provider Curtis Fitch.

De Beers sells approximately 10% of its global rough diamond supply through auctions. It said it anticipates that the investment will "deepen the highly successful partnership" between the two companies while positioning De Beers to meet the evolving needs of a growing auctions customer base.

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De Beers said that building more flexibility for rough diamond purchasers will strengthen the value of its offer. The company describes itself as the rough diamond online auction leader, having launched the first online auction with Curtis Fitch in 2008. Since then it has work with the company to introduce innovations that add value to customers’ businesses such as rank auction events, multiple unit auctions and its soon-to-launch Forward Contract Sales, each of which are said to have enhanced customers’ ability to tailor their supply needs.

De Beers senior vice president of auction said Neil Ventura said: “De Beers’ leadership in the rough diamond online auction space is grounded in our ability to understand the needs of our global customer base and provide them with opportunities to secure supply that matches their unique and evolving requirements. De Beers’ investment in Curtis Fitch underpins our long-term commitment to rough diamond auctions. It enhances our ability to drive the innovation necessary to maintain a responsive and relevant source of supply for our customers, create value for their businesses and keep our auction platform at the forefront of the industry.”

Curtis Fitch will remain an independently managed business. As a 25% shareholder, De Beers will occupy two seats on the Curtis Fitch board.



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