Finlay in discussions to acquire Carlyle & Co.

Finlay Enterprises, Inc. said Tuesday that it is in advanced discussions regarding a possible acquisition of Carlyle & Co. Jewelers. Carlyle is a privately owned regional chain, located primarily in the southeastern United States, with 32 jewelry stores and annual sales of approximately $80 million.

Finlay said in a statement that it is presently engaged in its due diligence review of Carlyle. The acquisition is subject to negotiation and execution of a definitive merger agreement that will include various closing conditions.

“As we have stated in the past, reviewing acquisition candidates is part of our strategy to grow and diversify our business,” said Arthur E. Reiner, Finlay chairman and CEO. We believe a business such as Carlyle would complement our existing operations.”

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary, Finlay Fine Jewelry Corp., is a leading retailers of fine jewelry and the largest operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores throughout the United States. The number of locations at the end of fiscal 2004 totaled 962.