Fabergé Brand Has New Owner, Mayer & Mohr remain licensees, New Gemstone Firm Added

A consortium led by London-based Pallinghurst Resources has acquired the worldwide Fabergé brand—one of the world’s best-known luxury names—from Unilever, one of the world’s largest consumer products companies. The brand, and all associated trademarks, licences, and intellectual property, are now held by a new company formed by Pallinghurst, called Fabergé Limited.

The purchase was made early this year, but only formally announced by Fabergé Wednesday. The value of the purchase wasn’t released.

Fabergé Limited’s aim, says its statement, is to “unite Fabergé and establish it as a leading luxury goods brand.” A key part of Pallinghurst Resources’s plan is using the Fabergé name to “create the world’s leading supplier of branded, ethically-sourced gemstones.”

Published reports say the Faberge Gemstones’ business will extend from sourcing rough stones to polished and branded gems, sold wholesale to the world’s most exclusive jewelry brands. It won’t produce or retail jewelry.

Meanwhile, Fabergé Limited has restructured “certain aspects of the licence portfolio,” by reducing product licenses from 10 to seven to insure what one official called “a new coherent branding and … design approval.”

Victor Mayer GmbH & Co., the licensee for Fabergé eggs and jewelry, and its associated company, Mohr Time GmbH, licensee for Fabergé watches, will continue to produce and distribute those products world-wide under their Fabergé licence agreements. Both have had extensive talks with Fabergé Limited about long-term strategic development of the brand.

International demand for Fabergé products has increased greatly in recent years; Victor Mayer and Mohr Time both doubled their orders at this year’s international BaselWorld trade fair in Switzerland.

Pallinghurst Resources specializes in strategic partnerships and investments in natural resources sector, including mines, smelters, refineries, and processing plants, especially in developing countries. Its chairman is Brian Gilbertson, former chief of BHP Billiton, the world’s largest mining operation, who led the $57 billion takeover of BHP by Billiton in 2001. Earlier, he was president of Russia’s SUAL, until it merged with RUSAL and assets of Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore to form the world’s largest aluminium producer.

Fabergé was founded in 1842 by Russian court jeweler Gustav Fabergé, renowned for the imaginative jewel-encrusted eggs he created for the czars.

The Victor Mayer jewelry company was founded in 1890 in Pforzheim, Germany. In 1989, Unilever licnesed use of the Fabergé brand, which by then it owned, to the Victor Mayer Co. for the famous eggs and later jewelry, and watches (by Mohr Time). The company is headed by the fourth generation of the Victor Mayer family. Its president is Dr. Marcus O. Mohr.