Samuels Jewelers are in Ownership Talks with Digico

Samuels Jewelers, Inc., one of America’s leading specialty retailers of fine jewelry, confirmed it is in discussions with a buyer to acquire a majority ownership in the Austin, Texas-based jewelry chain from its majority owner, funds managed by DDJ Capital Management, LLC. JCK has learned that the proposed buyer is Digico, an Indian sightholder and best known as the buyer of Leading Jewelers of the World.

Terms of the potential transaction have not been publicly disclosed.

“Samuels is very excited about this opportunity to develop a long-standing relationship with a DTC sightholder as both a shareholder and vendor partner,” said Randy McCullough, Samuels Jewelers’ president and chief executive officer. “This transaction will enable Samuels to recapitalize its balance sheet, improve its inventory selection, and have a firmer foundation for future growth.”

David Barr, chairman of Samuels Jewelers, added, “We believe that Samuels is an ideal candidate to complement a sightholder’s strengths in manufacturing of diamonds and jewelry products. Samuels will be able to provide additional value to the retail consumer as a result of this fully integrated business model. Diamonds will be controlled by one group from diamond rough to the finished jewelry purchased by the consumer. Due to the superiority of this business model, we believe this potential marriage of companies will provide a foundation for future compounding growth.”

Samuels Jewelers Inc. operates a national chain of specialty retail jewelry stores located in regional shopping malls, power centers, strip centers, and stand-alone stores. Samuels sells fine jewelry items in a wide range of styles and prices, with a principal emphasis on diamond and gemstone jewelry. The company operates 97 retail jewelry stores in 18 states and sells jewelry online at SamuelsJewelers.com. It operates stores under the names “Samuels,” “Schubach,” and “Samuels Diamonds.” Measured by the number of retail locations, Samuels is the tenth largest specialty retailer of fine jewelry in the country.

DDJ Capital Management, LLC is a boutique investment manager specializing in private equity and debt financings, as well as high yield and special situations investing. Founded in 1996, the Waltham, Massachusetts-based investment firm currently manages approximately $3 billion on behalf of 79 institutional clients.