Diamonds / Industry

WD Lab Grown’s Principals Form New Company


Some of the people behind WD Lab Grown, the gemstone manufacturer that filed for Chapter 7 last month, have created WD Advanced Materials, a company that will work solely on using diamonds in tech applications.

“WDAM is a new entity focused on technical diamond applications and was formed following the transition from its predecessor gemstone manufacturing entity,” said a corporate statement.

The new company is majority owned by Tree Line Capital Partners, which was WD Lab Grown’s largest creditor and took control of WD’s assets prior to its liquidation. Tom Quimby, managing partner of Tree Line, said in the statement that “WD Advanced Materials…builds on the company’s legacy of disruption and technological discovery.”

The press release referred to Mike Grunza, who was WD Lab Grown’s CEO, as acting CEO of WDAM. WD Lab Grown’s chief technology officer John Citaldo and chief commercial officer Brittany Lewis will fill the same roles in the new company. Based on the press release, WD’s former owner, Huron Capital, does not appear to be involved in the new entity.

Corporate records show that WDAM was registered in Delaware on Sept. 11 and in Maryland on Sept. 22, a few weeks prior to WD’s liquidation. Another company, WD Advanced Manufacturing, which has the same address as both WDAM and WD, was also registered in both states on the same days.

Tree Line claimed $36 million in secured debt from WD Lab Grown at the time of the bankruptcy. An additional $8 million was owed to a variety of unsecured creditors, including members of the trade, Maryland’s Department of Assessment and Labor, New York State’s Department of Labor, and the law firm Perkins Coie. Carnegie Institution of Washington, which had licensed its diamond-growing technology to WD, was owed $199,000. According to the Chapter 7 filing, “After any administrative expenses are paid, no funds will be available to unsecured creditors.”

More information on WD Advanced Materials can be found at WD Lab Grown’s old website.

Quimby, Lewis, and the Chapter 7 trustee, Jeoffrey L. Burtch, did not return requests for comment by press time.

(Photo courtesy of WD Lab Grown Diamonds)

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By: Rob Bates

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