A well-known Charlotte jeweler is being bought by the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry, Signet Jewelers.
Diamonds Direct will join Signet’s other stores, including Kay, Zales and Jared. The acquisition, a $490-million, all cash transaction, is expected to close late next year, according to Signet.
Diamonds Direct has 21 stores across the country, including four in the Carolinas — in Charlotte, Charleston, Greenville, S.C., and Raleigh.
The company has 100 employees in the Charlotte area between the Charlotte store and the company’s Charlotte headquarters, spokeswoman Kelsey Halford Diachenko told the Observer in an email.
Diamonds DIrect was founded in 1995, using a direct importation business model, with diamonds from the world diamond exchange in Tel Aviv, Israel, sold to U.S. customers.
Diamonds Direct was bought by private equity firm Blackstone in 2015 for an undisclosed price, the Observer reported at the time. And in 2017, Diamonds Direct acquired Distinctive Diamonds and its sister company, Global Diamonds, adding four stores to the business, the Observer reported at the time.
Signet operates about 2,800 jewelry stores in the United States, Canada and the U.K.
The Diamonds Direct leadership team, store fronts and branded offerings will remain the same following the close of the acquisition, according to Diamonds Direct.
Diamonds Direct representatives did not immediately say if there would be any changes to the employee totals following the acquisition.
Signet said that the Diamonds Direct leadership team will remain in place after the deal in concluded, with Diamonds Direct President Itay Berger reporting directly to Signet CEO Virginia Drosos.
“While Signet will infuse their resources into our business to fuel our growth, the heart of who we are, how we operate and what we believe in will not change,” Diachenko said in an email.