Bulgari, Leviev in Diamond Venture

May 12, 2004

Bulgari, Leviev in Diamond Venture

Bulgari and Leviev Group announced a joint venture agreement May 12 designed to boost the Italian jeweler's diamond supply, according to the Associated Press.

The joint venture will be based in Switzerland. Bulgari and Leviev subsidiary LLD, based in Israel, will each own 50 percent of the company, Bulgari said in a statement.

"I am very satisfied to have ventured with the Leviev Group that I believe to be the most professional, powerful and international company in the diamond industry," Bulgari Chief Executive Francesco Trapani said in a statement.

"I am very pleased to have established this strategic partnership with the Bulgari Group, one of the world's most reputable jewelers and luxury brands. As one of the best global players on the luxury jewelry market, Bulgari is to us the best group to partner with in this promising joint-venture," said Lev Leviev, president of Leviev group.

The two said the joint venture "allows the Bulgari Group to further integrate its production process in the diamond jewelry segment," adding it "will enable the company to offer its final clientele the best collections, in terms of cost and quality, with unique stones - including the rarest blue, red, pink and green diamonds - distinguished by an unmistakable and timeless design."

Rome-based Bulgari drew about 40 percent of its $854 million revenue last year from jewelry sales.

Leviev Group, owned by Russian diamond tycoon Lev Leviev, has annual sales of more than $2.5 billion. The group has cutting facilities in Russia and other former Soviet states, Israel, the United States and elsewhere. It also has diamond mines in several countries including Angola, Namibia, Russia and elsewhere.

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