Finlay Completes Acquisition of Congress Jewelers

Finlay Enterprises, Inc. has signed a definitive merger agreement and closed the acquisition of Congress Jewelers. The total purchase price includes approximately $6 million of cash and the retirement of approximately $10 million of debt, Finlay said in a statement. The transaction will be financed with additional borrowings under the company’s revolving credit facility.

Congress Jewelers is a privately owned regional chain of five jewelry stores located in Florida. The chain, which focuses on the luxury market, is expected to generate annual sales of approximately $23 million in 2006. Congress will operate as a separate subsidiary of Finlay.

The acquisition was first announced Nov. 8.

“We are pleased to have completed the Congress transaction, which furthers our strategy of identifying acquisition targets that will diversify our business and provide a platform for growth,” said Arthur E. Reiner, chairman and chief executive officer of Finlay Enterprises, Inc. “We believe Congress will complement our existing businesses in the luxury jewelry market, including our Carlyle stores and our Bloomingdale’s business. We are confident in Congress’ potential and believe that our now enhanced presence in the growing luxury market will enhance our overall business and build shareholder value.”

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., is one of the leading retailers of fine jewelry and the largest operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores throughout the United States with sales of $990.1 million in fiscal 2005. The number of locations at the end of the third quarter of fiscal 2006 totaled 819, including 34 Carlyle specialty jewelry stores.