Kwiat Takes Over Fred Leighton

Diamond and jewelry company Kwiat purchased and plans to manage and operate Fred Leighton, the estate and antique jewelry retailer that recently filed Chapter 11.

The purchase, transacted in partnership with financiers Och-Ziff, is valued at $25.8 million.

Greg Kwiat, who will take over as Fred Leighton’s CEO, told JCK his company “believes very strongly in the Fred Leighton brand name.”

“We think it is a fantastic brand with very good retail stores,” he said. “Even through this bankruptcy, the core of the brand has remained exceptionally strong. The customer knows Fred Leighton.”

Both companies have retail stores in New York and Las Vegas.

In the near term, Kwiat will concentrate on its existing stores. But in the long run Kwiat said he plans to expand Leighton’s wholesale business and well as its “retail footprint.”

While the deal gives Kwiat and Och-Ziff control of the Fred Leighton boutiques, trademarks, and intellectual property, the company’s fine-jewelry inventory will be split with a third partner, FOF Inventory Holding, a consortium that includes the original Fred Leighton.