Asian-inspired jewelry firm John Hardy up for sale -sources


By Martinne Geller and Olivia Oran

Nov 19 (Reuters) - Asian-inspired jewelry company John HardyGroup is exploring a potential sale, according to peoplefamiliar with the matter.

Bali-based John Hardy, a portfolio company of Britishprivate equity firm 3i Group PLC, has hired Rothschildto conduct a sales process, which is in the early stages, thesources said.

John Hardy could not be reached for comment. Rothschild and3i Group declined to comment.

The firm, founded in 1989 by Canadian jewelry designer JohnHardy, produces Asian-inspired products that are sold in majordepartment stores including Neiman Marcus Group Inc,Hudson's Bay Co's Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bloomingdale's.

3i Group invested in John Hardy in 2007 after the company'sfounders retired and sold the firm to Chief Executive DamienDernoncourt and creative director Guy Bedarida. 3i Group'sinvestment supported the management buyout.

Mergers and acquisitions in the jewelry sector have beenactive this year, with such deals as Swatch Group SA's $750 million purchase of Harry Winston's watch and jewelrybusiness, Kering SA's purchase of Italian jewelrygroup Pomellato, and China Haidian Holdings Ltd's acquisition of luxury Swiss watchmaker Corum.

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