Equity Firm Funds Florida Jeweler

An equity investment company has taken an ownership stake of a southwest Florida jeweler that was operating under bankruptcy protection.

Kairos Capital Partners, which provides hybrid investment capital to retail and consumer products companies, said Monday that it has made an equity investment in Luxury Ventures, LLC, under the name Henricks Jewelers with stores in Bonita Springs and Naples.

The jeweler said it will use the proceeds to carry out its reorganization plan and continue business operations at its two locations. The fund, for its investment, receives a major equity stake in the reorganized venture as well as three seats on the Board of Managers. Levenfeld Pearlstein LLC represented Kairos, which has offices in Boston and New York, in the transaction.

The 26-year-old retailer of fine jewelry filed for bankruptcy in November 2007. Original plans to liquidate the company’s assets came to a halt in March 2008 when the company reached an agreement with its lender to continue operations.

“Henricks Jewelers is a tremendous name in Southwest Florida and we’re excited to participate in its reorganization,” said Andrew H. Moser, co-founder and partner of Kairos Capital Partners. “Most importantly, we look forward to serving the loyal customers of Henrick’s who stood by the chain during its many challenges. We also intend to make additional acquisitions which will further enhance and leverage our platform and management team.”

“It has always been our intention to work through this situation and continue operations,” added Kevin Waters, chief executive officer of Luxury Ventures. “This investment, and the tremendous support we’ve received from such a knowledgeable industry partner as Kairos Capital Partners, affords us the opportunity to carry out a successful reorganization and set the stage for continued and profitable growth. We appreciate their support and that of our trade creditors, employees and customers. Their continued confidence has been very satisfying.”