Dominion Diamond to be taken over by Washington Cos. in US$1.2B agreement

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CALGARY — The Washington Companies has won over the board of Dominion Diamond Corp., one of the world’s largest diamond producers, with a sweetened US$1.2-billion bid.

The privately held Montana firm is offering US$14.25 in cash per share for all stock in Dominion Diamond (TSX:DDC), up from its US$13.50 per share offer that Dominion rejected in March.

“We’re going to be in Canada for a very long time and this was a nice addition to our portfolio,” Lawrence Simkins, president of Washington Cos., said in a phone interview.

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Americans Buying Fewer Gems Puts the Hurt on Diamond Hub Antwerp

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An ugly year for diamonds in the vital U.S. market is piling pressure on Europe’s historic center of the $80 billion global trade.

Diamond trading companies in the Belgian port city of Antwerp, which has been the industry’s trading capital for five centuries, were already feeling the pinch from a tightening credit bubble and thin margins. That’s now being compounded by falling demand from some of the industry’s biggest customers, notably retailers Signet Jewelers Ltd. and Tiffany & Co.

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Diamond Industry Faces Headache as Key U.S. Market Takes a Knock

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In the diamond industry, the only place that really matters is the U.S., and the market is starting to look a little shaky.

In a country where consumers buy almost half the world’s gems, Tiffany & Co. and Signet Jewelers Ltd. this week reported disappointing sales. That’s a blow to expectations that President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies would give consumers more money to spend on luxury items such as diamonds.

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