|Diamond jewelry retailer Signet Jewelers Limited (Signet), has announced that it is acquiring R2Net, the owner of online jewelry retailer JamesAllen.com, for US$328 million. The "all cash" transaction includes R2Net's Segoma Imaging Technologies, which provides the company with machines to enable delivery of a next-generation digital shopping experience for jewelry.
Signet reports that the acquisition will bring together Signet's jewelry retail business with R2Net's world-class innovation capabilities and digital technology to create an enhanced customer shopping experience and accelerate Signet's execution of its Customer-First OmniChannel strategy. The acquisition also adds a fast-growing millennial online retail brand to Signet's portfolio.
Commenting on the deal, Signet CEO Virginia C. Drosos says, "This is a highly strategic acquisition for Signet. The James Allen brand and R2Net's technologies and innovative approach present a unique opportunity to rapidly enhance our digital capabilities and create a distinctive customer shopping experience which more seamlessly integrates our digital and physical retail platforms."
Continues Drosos: "We look forward to the R2Net team, who have been long-term partners on our Jared Design-ARing platform, joining the Signet family. Together, we will redefine the jewelry shopping experience and further accelerate our Customer-First OmniChannel strategy."
The transaction is currently expected to close in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, and will be financed with a term loan provided by JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A., which Signet expects will be repaid in full by the end of fiscal 2018.
The company notes that, following the acquisition, R2Net brands will largely operate as an independent division of Signet and its current leadership team will remain intact. In addition to his role as President of JamesAllen.com, R2Net's co-founder and CEO, Oded Edelman, will become Chief Digital Innovation Advisor of Signet, where he will report directly to Drosos and assume the responsibility for driving Signet's digital innovation strategy. The Signet announcement also notes that Edelman and the R2Net founders have agreed, subject to the completion of the transaction, to invest a portion of their transaction proceeds in Signet shares.