Signet Jewelers Limited recently announced that it has agreed to acquire R2Net — owner of JamesAllen.com and Segoma Imaging Technologies — for US$ 328 million in an all cash deal.
JamesAllen.com, is a well-known and fast-growing online jewellery retailer; while Segoma Imaging Technologies, is a provider (to R2Net) of machines which “enable delivery of next-generation digital shopping experience for jewellery”.
“The acquisition will bring together Signet’s jewellery retail business with R2Net’s world-class innovation capabilities and digital technology to create an enhanced customer shopping experience and accelerate Signet’s execution of its Customer-First OmniChannel strategy while adding a fast-growing millennial online retail brand to Signet’s portfolio,” the Company said in its announcement release. “The acquisition represents an important step for Signet towards building scalable digital capabilities for OmniChannel transformation.”
Virginia C. Drosos, Chief Executive Officer of Signet commented: “This is a highly strategic acquisition for Signet. The James Allen brand and R2Net’s technologies and innovative approach present a unique opportunity to rapidly enhance our digital capabilities and create a distinctive customer shopping experience which more seamlessly integrates our digital and physical retail platforms.”
The New York City headquartered R2Net was founded by Oded Edelman, James Schultz, Michele Sigler and Dean Lederman, in 2006. R2Net also has “technology innovation centers” in Israel and 24×7 customer service operations in Frederick, Maryland. R2Net’s innovative technologies include proprietary 360° Diamond Display Technology, Virtual Ring Sizer and Ring Try-On mobile application, Signet added.
“We founded JamesAllen.com with a mission to offer beautiful rings, simplicity, selection, pricing transparency and overall value to consumers online,” said Oded Edelman, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of R2Net. “By joining forces with Signet, we believe we will be able to accelerate the growth of JamesAllen.com and our adjacent R2Net businesses while continuing to build on our unique culture and technology. The Signet and R2Net teams have a shared belief that consumers deserve the best jewellery shopping experience and we look forward to continuing to build innovative technologies together to enhance the consumer experience across the Signet brand portfolio.”
Signet expects the transaction to close in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. The Company said the transaction will be financed with a term loan provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., which is expected to be repaid in full by the end of fiscal 2018.
“Signet sees significant growth and value creation opportunities from the implementation of R2Net’s technology across its physical and online retail platforms,” the Company emphasised. “Signet anticipates the transaction to be accretive in the first full year of operations.”
Signet confirmed that after the acquisition is completed, R2Net brands “will largely operate as an independent division of Signet and its current leadership team will remain intact”.
Apart from his role as President of JamesAllen.com, Edelman will also become Chief Digital Innovation Advisor of Signet. Reporting directly to Ms. Drosos, he will be responsible for driving Signet’s digital innovation strategy.
“As a sign of commitment to the long-term vision of Signet and R2Net, Mr. Edelman and the R2Net founders have agreed, subject to the completion of the transaction, to invest a portion of their transaction proceeds in Signet shares,” Signet announced.
This announcement was greeted heartily by Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) President Yoram Dvash. The IDE said that R2Net has important ties to the Israeli diamond industry, as it was originally founded by Israeli diamond trader Oded Edelman as a trading network for diamonds. The organisation emphasised that it has become a leading e-commerce platform under the name of JamesAllen.com “offering innovative technological solutions to the entire diamond industry”.
IDE President Yoram Dvash commented: “The sale of R2Net to Signet is an important milestone for the international diamond industry. It exemplifies the vision and innovative spirit of the industry, combining the strengths of both worlds – a solid retail base and a forward-thinking technological capability. R2Net has always been a leader in originality, technological innovation and professionalism and it is a model for our industry.”
He concluded: “We believe that innovation is the key to the success of our industry and the Israel Diamond Exchange wholeheartedly embraces it. We salute this union, and look forward to our continued business cooperation. ”
News Source :businesswire