Signet Jewelers, a specialty retail jeweler, has signed an agreement to acquire Ultra Stores, from Crystal Financial and its other stockholders for approximately $57 million in cash. Duff & Phelps was engaged by Ultra Stores to serve as its exclusive financial advisor in connection with the sale of the company.
Ultra Stores is a jewelry retailer operating primarily in outlet centers, as well as licensed jewelry departments. The company was founded in 1991 and is based in Chicago (www.ultradiamonds.com).
Signet Jewelers (NYSE and LSE: SIG) is the largest specialty retail jeweler in the US and UK. Signet’s US division operates over 1,300 stores in all 50 states primarily under the name brands of Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry. Signet’s UK division operates approximately 500 stores primarily under the name brands of H. Samuel and Ernest Jones. The company has offices in London and New York (www.signetjewelers.com).
Duff & Phelps was engaged by Ultra Stores to serve as its exclusive financial advisor in connection with the sale of the company. Josh Benn and Edward Mielke of Duff & Phelps performed extensive pre-marketing diligence to understand the business, developed the positioning strategy, assembled a list of potential strategic and financial buyers, and worked closely with Ultra Stores’ management and majority shareholder Crystal Financial to develop and execute a marketing process that maximized the value of the business.
“The addition of Ultra will immediately result in our having a significant share of the outlet channel for jewelry,” said Michael Barnes, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers. “We had identified this rapidly growing channel as an opportunity to profitably increase our sales, enabling us to leverage our competitive strengths and add Ultra’s expertise to our team. We believe that the resulting synergies will create a terrific win for our customers and investors.”
© 2012 PEPD • Private Equity’s Leading News Magazine • 11-2-12