Israeli diamond tycoon Lev Leviev intends to apply in coming weeks to his biggest rival, De Beers, to receive rough stones straight from the diamond syndicate, industry sources told The Jerusalem Post Thursday.
The sources said that the surprising move is part of Leviev’s attempt to challenge De Beers’ dominance as he seeks to build gem-polishing plants in African countries in exchange for supplies of uncut diamonds.
Leviev is expected to ask De Beers to become a siteholder, the newspaper reports.
“Leviev intends to become a siteholder,” the sources told the newspaper. “De Beers will find it hard to refuse his request as he meets all the six requirements set by the syndicate.”
If De Beers refuses its decision will probably be overturned by the European Commission, which requires that those who meet the supplier of choice criteria will receive uncut diamonds, the newspaper reports.
The sources told the newspaper that since Leviev is largest owner of diamond mines in the world De Beers should be interested to have him as a client.