Finlay to Buy Congress Jewelers

Finlay Enterprises Inc., the largest U.S. operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores, on Nov. 8 said it will buy privately owned Congress Jewelers. Finlay executed a stock purchase agreement for the acquisition, subject to various closing conditions and obtaining necessary consents.

Congress Jewelers has five jewelry stores in Florida, focused on the luxury market, with annual sales of about $23 million.

“Evaluating potential acquisition targets has remained a key strategic initiative, as we continue to look for different ways to grow and diversify our business,” said Arthur E. Reiner, chairman and chief executive officer of Finlay Enterprises Inc.

“Our success with Carlyle & Co. jewelers, which we acquired in May 2005, has given us valuable knowledge and confidence in operating and competing in the luxury jewelry market,” Reiner added. “We believe there are great opportunities within the Congress business and see it as very complementary to our existing Finlay business.”

Finlay Enterprises, Inc., through its wholly-owned subsidiary, Finlay Fine Jewelry Corporation, is a leading retailer of fine jewelry and the largest U.S. operator of licensed fine jewelry departments in department stores. It had sales of $990.1 million in fiscal 2005. It has 819 outlets, including 34 Carlyle & Co. jewelry stores.

Finlay Enterprises, Inc.’s total sales for the nine months in fiscal 2006, ended Oct. 28, 2006, increased 1.3 percent to $576.4 million, compared to $568.7 million in 2005’s first nine months. Carlyle (which was acquired in May 2005), contributed sales of $56.5 million for the period.