Sourcing

De Grisogono Files for Bankruptcy in Switzerland

SourcingJan 29, 2020

De Grisogono Files for Bankruptcy in Switzerland

The luxury jewelry house wasn’t able to secure a buyer despite talks lasting several months.

Luxury jewelry brand De Grisogono has filed for bankruptcy by cause of insolvency in Switzerland. Pictured here is a diamond necklace created for the brand by its first artist-in-residence in the fall.

Geneva—De Grisogono, the luxury jewelry house caught up in a corruption investigation in Angola, has filed for bankruptcy in Switzerland.

According to a Jan. 29 company statement provided to National Jeweler, De Grisogono has spent the last several months looking for a buyer but came up empty, forcing the company to file for bankruptcy by cause of insolvency.

“Without financial support from the current shareholders and without a new investor, unfortunately, the company cannot continue as a going concern,” the statement reads.

If its bankruptcy filing is accepted, De Grisogono said all 65 of its employees in Switzerland will be let go.

The statement did not address the future of its stores—De Grisogono has 13 of its own boutiques as well as a presence in 101 retailers across the world, according to its website—or its jewelry inventory.

The news comes just after an investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and 36 media partners was made public alleging De Grisogono was a vital part of a money-laundering scheme that funneled billions of dollars from the Angolan government into the pockets of members of the former first family.

“Luanda Leaks,” as it has been dubbed, laid out allegations that Isabel dos Santos—the billionaire daughter of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos—her husband Sindika Dokolo and their intermediaries built an empire comprised of more than 400 companies and subsidiaries to launder the funds.

This included Dokolo allegedly partnering with Angolan state-owned diamond firm Sodiam to create a Malta-based company that allowed them to buy a stake in De Grisogono and then pump millions in government money into the brand.

Dos Santos and Dokolo have been named as suspects in an investigation into corruption by Angola’s prosecutor, and an Angolan court has frozen her assets.

Both have repeatedly denied their wrongdoing or receiving any profits from their political connections.

According to British newspaper The Guardian, dos Santos also made a statement last week, just days after the release of the Luanda Leaks report.

It reads in part: “The allegations which have been made against me over the last few days are extremely misleading and untrue. We will seek to clarify our position in relation to the latest accusations … This is a very concentrated, orchestrated and well-coordinated political attack, ahead of elections in Angola next year.”

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

CrimeMay 18, 2021
Police Searching for 2 Suspects in Armed Robbery of GA Jewelry Store

A third suspect, who was shot during the robbery, has been arrested and charged.

CollectionsMay 18, 2021
New York Isn’t Over, According to the Yurmans

David Yurman’s latest collection is a tribute to a New York City landmark.

Events & AwardsMay 18, 2021
Registration Is Open for JA National Convention

The third annual Jewelers of America National Convention will be held virtually July 19-20.

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

ColumnistsMay 18, 2021
Creative Connecting: Why Jewelers Should Be More Active on YouTube

A strong following on YouTube can boost online visibility and trust in your store’s staff, Duvall O’Steen and Jen Cullen Williams write.

Weekly QuizMay 14, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 10-14, 2021.
Take the Quiz
IndependentsMay 17, 2021
Take a Peek Inside the New Zadok Jewelers Store

The Houston jeweler recently opened a 28,000-square-foot, two-level store.

IndependentsMay 17, 2021
Bill Boyajian Has a New Book Coming Out

“Family Business Succession Planning” covers the dynamics of working in a multigenerational business and prepping for the next generation.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

MajorsMay 17, 2021
Pandora’s Head of North America Steps Down

Sid Keswani has left the jewelry company to become president of lifestyle company Centric Brands.

×