Kwiat Buys, Will Run Fred Leighton

Kwiat, the diamond and jewelry company, recently purchased and plans to manage and operate Fred Leighton, the estate and antique jewelry retailer that was recently in Chapter 11.

Kwiat made the purchase together with Och-Ziff Capital Management Group, and FOF Inventory Holding. It is valued at $25.8 million.

Greg Kwiat, who is taking over as Fred Leighton’s CEO, told JCK his company “believes very strongly in the Fred Leighton brand name. We think it is a fantastic brand with very good retail stores.”

He notes that the Leighton brand, which carries high-end estate and antique jewelry, is a good compliment for Kwiat. Both companies have retail stores in New York and Las Vegas.

“Even through this bankruptcy, the core of the brand has remained exceptionally strong,” Kwiat said. “The customer knows Fred Leighton. They know that Fred Leighton is all about fine estate and antique jewelry. They have a strong connection to the customer through their appearances on the red carpet.”

In the near term, Kwiat will concentrate on its existing stores. But in the long run Kwiat says he plans to expand Leighton’s wholesale business and well as its “retail footprint.”

The deal gives Kwiat and Och-Ziff control of the Fred Leighton business, including its boutiques, trademarks and intellectual property. However, Kwiat, Och-Ziff and FOF Inventory Holding will acquire the company’s fine jewelry inventory. FOF Inventory Holding is comprised of four preeminent estate and jewelry dealers, including Windsor Jewelers, Robert Sadian and Mark Emanuel of European Art & Antiques, Sima Ghadamian of Sima G. Ltd, and Moonbeam Consulting, whose principal is the company’s original founder Fred Leighton.

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