Tiffany’s New Setting

The name Tiffany conjures up images of beauty, elegance, and Audrey Hepburn gazing in the window. It does not conjure up miners doing the unglamorous work of digging for stones in the Arctic. Today, however, Tiffany is not only a diamond seller but also an investor in a diamond mine and owner of a cutting factory. In 1999, it paid $71 million for almost 15% of Aber, the minority partner (40%) in Diavik, the second mine in Canada's Northwest Territories. The deal calls for Tiffany to purchase $50 million in stones annually from Diavik for 10 years—approximately one-fifth of Aber's share of production. Tiffany also is building a $4 million polishing factory in the Northwest Territories. At the time, the deal stunned the market. Although it has become commonplace to hear about miners like De Beers or Alrosa going retail, Tiffany is the world's first—and so far, only—retailer-turne
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