Aber wants to buy Harry Winston Inc.

Aber Diamond Corp., a Canadian diamond mining firm, wants to buy famed luxury jewelry retailer Harry Winston Inc., say the company and press reports. The Toronto firm said on Nov. 28 that it had signed a letter of intent with the owners of Harry Winston Inc. for a purchase “in a staged transaction.” The purchase price wasn’t released.

“The House of Harry Winston” was started in 1932 by Harry Winston, the son of a New York jeweler. His son Ronald, now chairman, owns a major share of the business and has led it since his father’s death in 1978. Fenway Partners, a private equity firm, bought a large share of the retailer in 2000.

Harry Winston has stores in the United States, Europe and Japan, and its affluent clientele range from royalty to movie stars who sport its jewelry at Oscar time. More recently, it also has gotten attention for its very high-end innovative luxury watches. Aber owns 40% of Canada’s Diavik mine, a subsidiary of Rio Tinto. Its major clients include Tiffany & Co., which owns 15% of Aber.