A New York bankruptcy court is likely to approve a bid by Unique Designs for jewelry company Fantasy Inc. (See clarification below.)
Richard Levin, the trustee overseeing Fantasy Inc.’s Chapter 11, said in a motion that Unique’s offer of $725,893 for the inventory was the “highest and best bid” he had received for the remaining parts of Fantasy’s inventory.
A day later, Judge Sean Lane agreed to expedite approval of the sale and set July 23 as the deadline for any possible higher bids.
In his filing, Levin asked for a quicker process because Costco, a major customer of Fantasy Inc., had placed a large order for fall and holiday. Unique needs the inventory immediately to begin production, he said.
Judge Lane also approved a motion to let Chicago-based Fantasy Diamond terminate the six-year license agreement that it had with Fantasy Inc.
Last year, Unique purchased Mercury Ring and Interjewel USA. Both were formerly owned by another Indian company, Interjewel.
Fantasy Inc. was one of three companies owned by scandal-tarred billionaire Nirav Modi that filed for Chapter 11 on Feb. 26.
The auction of the assets of another one of those companies, jewelry brand A. Jaffe, is due to occur today. The deadline for bids for that company’s assets was July 5.
At press time, it wasn’t clear what will happen regarding the sale of the third company, Firestar Diamond, but its assets are also up for sale. Levin declined comment.
In February, Indian diamond magnate Modi was accused by Indian authorities of defrauding Punjab National Bank of $2 billion, sparking a chain of events that led to the Chapter 11 filing.
Modi’s whereabouts are not clear. Recently, Interpol released Red Notices against both Modi and his brother Neeshal. While not the same as an international arrest warrant, a Red Notice asks police in member countries to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition.
Modi’s lawyer has denied the allegations. He could not be reached for comment.
Clarification: This article has been updated to clarify that Unique Designs, not Kiran Gems, is purchasing the remaining inventory of Fantasy Inc. U.S.-based Unique Designs was formerly known as Kiran Jewels, but is no longer affiliated with the company in India. Since going to press, Unique’s bid has also been raised to $725,983.
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