Vendôme Global Partners Advises Birks Group on the Sale of Mayor’s Jewelers


31-Oct-2017 | By: Vendôme Global Partners

Vendôme Global Partners Advises Birks Group on the Sale of Mayor’s Jewelers to Aurum Holdings, Creating the Premier Cross-Atlantic Leader in Luxury Watch and Fine Jewelry Retailing

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October 23, 2017 ǀ New York, NY – Vendôme Global Partners LLC (“Vendôme”), an international mergers and acquisitions advisory firm specializing in the luxury goods sector, is pleased to announce the completion of the sale of Mayor’s Jewelers, Inc. (“Mayors”), the U.S. subsidiary of Birks Group Inc. (“Birks”) (NYSE MKT LLC: BGI), to Aurum Holdings Ltd. (“Aurum”) the largest luxury watch and fine jewelry retailer in the U.K., for gross proceeds of approximately US$108 million.

Vendôme led a highly customized, confidential and targeted global sale process, achieving a successful transaction for Mayors, which also includes an important strategic partnership between Birks and Aurum.

Founded in 1910, Mayors, a wholly owned subsidiary of Birks, operates 17 multibrand high-end watch and jewelry stores across Florida and Georgia, including 14 Rolex agencies. Mayors is one of the largest independent luxury retailers in the U.S., offering a distinctive and prestigious portfolio of exclusive watches and fine jewelry brands including Patek Philippe, Cartier, Breitling, as well as Bulgari, Gucci and Messika.

The acquisition of Mayors is an important strategic step for Aurum, the U.K. leader in timepieces and jewelry retailing, as it enters the U.S. market where its first Watches of Switzerland flagship store is set to open in the fall of 2018 in New York’s Hudson Yards.

Birks, the leading Canadian watch and jewelry retailer founded in 1879, with 28 stores across Canada, will continue investing in its retail and e-commerce operations and new store concepts, as well as in the international development of its high growth Birks jewelry brand. As part of the transaction with Aurum, Birks has reinforced its international presence by entering into an exclusive multi-year agreement with Aurum to distribute the Birks’ branded jewelry collections in the U.K. while continuing to sell Birks’ jewelry in Mayors stores in the U.S.

Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Birks, commented: “Aurum is a strategic buyer committed to continuing to invest in Mayors’ long-term growth, and with whom we share many synergies. (…) We believe that monetizing the value of Mayors gives us the ability to execute our strategic vision of investing in the Birks brand together with the retailing of internationally-renowned jewelry and timepiece brands in Canada, thus transforming Birks into a global, omni-channel business.

With the acquisition of Mayors, Aurum becomes one of the leading global Rolex distributors, reinforces its leadership positions with Cartier, Omega, TAG Heuer and Breitling, and is poised to emerge as a strong consolidator in the large and highly fragmented U.S. market.

Brian Duffy, President of Aurum, stated: “We are delighted to have entered into an agreement to acquire Mayors. (…)This news follows our announcement to open a flagship Watches of Switzerland store in Hudson Yards (New York City) and confirms the ambition of our group to be an important part of the Swiss watch market in the U.S.”

Jean-Christophe Bédos, President and Chief Executive Officer of Birks, further commented: “I was very impressed with Vendôme’s thorough professionalism and dedication, their relentless energy, drive and their ability to propose creative solutions during every step of the process."

Birks Group Inc.

Birks was founded in 1879 and has become Canada’s premier retailer and designer of fine jewelry, timepieces and gifts. The Company operates 26 stores under the Birks brand in most major metropolitan markets in Canada and two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand. Mayors was founded in 1910 and has maintained the intimacy of a family-owned boutique while becoming renowned for its fine jewelry, timepieces and service. Mayors operates 16 stores in Florida and Georgia under the Mayors brand and one store under the Rolex brand name.

Aurum Holdings Ltd.

Established in 2007, Aurum Holdings Ltd. is the largest prestige luxury jewelers and timepieces specialist in the U.K. with over 130 collective stores. The retail portfolio comprises brands including Watches of Switzerland, Goldsmiths, Mappin & Webb, Watchshop, The Watch Hut and The Watch Lab. Aurum is the largest distributor in the world of luxury brands including Omega and TAG Heuer and is also the U.K.'s largest distributor for Rolex, Cartierand Breitling. Aurum was acquired in 2013 by certain funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC.

Vendôme Global Partners LLC

Vendôme is a premier independent cross-border M&A financial advisory firm serving the global luxury industry. Founded and led by an experienced, entrepreneurial and dedicated team of professionals based in New York, Vendôme’s advisory services include customized sell-sides, targeted acquisition searches, fairness opinions, valuations and strategic advisory consultancy.

Vendôme’s in-depth sector knowledge and transaction experience, extensive and diverse global senior relationships and insight into recognizing and nurturing a brand’s long-term potential, provides a unique and specialized ability to find creative, customized and value-added solutions for its clients who seek an independent, professional and trusted advisory partner.

The sale of Mayors to Aurum, a strategic cross-border transaction between two leaders in the luxury watch and jewelry segment, exemplifies Vendôme’s continued focus on the sector, also illustrated by the sale of Montres Corum Sàrl in 2013 to the Chinese public company Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group, as well as a number of other on-going strategic luxury watch and jewelry assignments.

Vendôme’s passion to Connect Creative Brands is the underpinning of its M&A advisory services across the luxury industry, with a strategic focus on Fashion, Accessories, Jewelry, Watches and Beauty Products.

VendômeAlejandra Galindo