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HRD Antwerp sale: IGI drops out, Israeli diamond company goes into race.
A new candidate is competing for the acquisition of the HRD Antwerp certification lab. According to rumors, this is Sarine Technologies, an Israeli company that develops technology for the diamond industry. Peter Meeus and Serge Couvreur, two former directors of HRD, had already entered the takeover race. According to Rapaport, Antwerp based IGI had withdrawn.
The renowned lab and scientific research centre have been hanging on the oxygen bottle for several years now. Read: million-dollar loans from parent company Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). Dismissals followed one another, losses piled up.
Last summer, IGI presented itself as a serious candidate for acquisition. The Chinese investment company Fosun owns 80% of that lab. In the autumn, Peter Meeus, top executive of the Diamond High Council from 1999 to 2005, announced that he would make an offer. Serge Couvreur, boss of HRD Antwerp in 2013 and 2014, followed suit.
And now, allegedly, the highly regarded Sarine Technologies is also turning its attention to the HRD Antwerp sale. “We see possibilities in labs that assess polished stones“, Sarine recently commented.
A number of sources say that IGI has withdrawn its takeover bid. The question now is how the task force that founded the AWDC will deal with this. After all, IGI seemed to be the favorite. The potential buyers have until Tuesday 10 December to make a final offer. A takeover for the full 100 percent seems unlikely. AWDC will want to keep a finger on the pulse at HRD.
Who is this new party allegedly interested in the HRD Antwerp sale?
Sarine is leading the next technological era with the Sarine Technology Lab, the first ever technology driven, automated, artificial intelligence-based diamond grading lab. Via the Sarine Profile™ reports, Sarine labs provide the world’s most accurate, reliable diamond grading information in an interactive digital display that is redefining the retail industry and the consumer experience. Sarine Technologies Ltd is a publicly traded company on the Singapore Exchange. Headquarters are located in Hod Hasharon, Israel, with a vast network of subsidiaries, distributors, service centers and technology labs worldwide.