Nov 23, 2015

Blackstone Acquires Diamonds Direct

Charlotte, North Carolina and New York, New York, November 16, 2015. Diamonds Direct and Blackstone (NYSE: BX) announced today that funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities have acquired Diamonds Direct, a leading independent jewelry company.

Headquartered in Charlotte, NC, Diamonds Direct is a leading U.S. independent jewelry retailer with a long and well-established history in diamond sales andmanufacturing. In the last seven years, the company has grown from one location in Charlotte to a multi-channel retailer with seven locations across the United States complimented by an online ecommerce storefront.Diamonds Direct’s retail locations are located in Charlotte, Raleigh, NC, Birmingham, AL, Richmond, VA, Austin, TX, with new locations opening in Oklahoma City, OK, and Charleston, SC, in early December.

“This is a very exciting day for Diamonds Direct,” said Chief Executive Officer Itay Berger. “Diamonds Direct’s partnership with Blackstone will enable us to continue to deliver unparalleled service and unbeatable prices. We are thrilled to begin a new chapter for our employees and customers with Blackstone as we enter a new phase of growth.”

“Blackstone is extremely excited to partner with Itay and the existing management team to accelerate the Company’s growth,” said Jasvinder Khaira, Managing Director of Blackstone Tactical Opportunities. “Providing capital to entrepreneurs is a hallmark of Blackstone’s growth investments and we look forward to working with the Diamonds Direct team on their continued success and growth.”

The transaction closed in early November. Diamonds Direct was advised by James McElroy & Diehl, P.A. and Pearl Cohen Zedek Latzer Baratz. Blackstone was advised by Wells Fargo Securities LLC and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

About Diamonds Direct
Diamonds Direct was founded by Alon Arabov, a diamond manufacturer based out of Tel Aviv, Israel. In 1995, the first Diamonds Direct opened in Charlotte, N.C. eliminating the middleman and selling diamonds directly to the end customer from the manufacturing facility in Israel.Today, Diamonds Direct is one of America's largest and most successful independent jewelry companies with seven locations in the U.S. Each Diamonds Direct offers loose and mounted diamonds, a multitude of engagement ring mountings by America's top designers, diamond and gemstone fashion jewelry, wedding bands, pearls and much more. For more information visit www.DiamondsDirect.com.

About Blackstone
Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms. We seek to create positive economic impact and long-term value for our investors, the companies we invest in, and the communities in which we work. We do this by using extraordinary people and flexible capital to help companies solve problems. Our asset management businesses, with over $330 billion in assets under management, include investment vehicles focused on private equity, real estate, public debt and equity, non-investment grade credit, real assets and secondary funds, all on a global basis. Further information is available at www.blackstone.com. Follow Blackstone on Twitter @Blackstone.

 

Media Contacts:
Kelsey Halford
Diamonds Direct
kelseyh@diamondsdirect.com
(704) 532-9041

Christine Anderson
Blackstone
christine.anderson@blackstone.com
(212) 583-5263