Lazare Kaplan and Alrosa Expand Agreement

March 26, 1999

Lazare Kaplan and Alrosa Expand Agreement

Lazare Kaplan International Inc. and Russian diamond producer Alrosa this week signed a 10-year cooperation agreement that will significantly multiply the value of rough diamonds provided for polishing at LKI's Russian factories.

Alrosa agrees to supply $100 million in rough gem-quality diamonds per year to be polished at LKI's existing and new Russian diamond cutting facilities. According to a release, the companies plan to jointly refurbish and reopen currently non-operating factories in Moscow and Barnaul, Russia. LKI and Alrosa currently operate a Moscow-based factory, which sold $50 million in polished diamonds in 1998.

The agreement also secures a $62.3 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States that will let Alrosa purchase U.S.-manufactured mining equipment. The loan opens the doors for further financing, helping Alrosa make future purchases and expand its workforce.

- by Stacey King