DTC Status May Have Motivated Sale of Mine Stock

Tiffany's desire to be a De Beers Diamond Trading Company sightholder spelled the end of its groundbreaking deal with Canada's Aber Diamond Corp., Aber executives told JCK. De Beers recently announced that a company cannot attain sightholder status if it owns part of a competing mine. This was widely seen as targeting ex-sightholder Lev Leviev, who owns several mines and was reportedly interested in a sight. But it would also disqualify Tiffany, which in 1999 bought 14 percent of Aber, the minority partner in Diavik, the second mine in Canada's Northwest Territories. Aber executives say this is why Tiffany sold its shares in Aber for $268 million, for a pre-tax profit of $194 million. Tiffany executive vice president and CFO, James N. Fernandez, also resigned from the Tiffany board. Mark Aaron, vice president of investor relations for Tiffany, declined comment on whether Tiffany wa

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