Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Unit Acquires Online Jewelry Seller Gemvara

Finance and Trade
02/05/2016 08:05

Berkshire Hathaway’s Richline Group, a major supplier of jewelry to retailers in the United States, has bought online jewelry firm Gemvara Inc. which has struggled to find a strong business model despite the investment of $60 million in the firm since it was established in 2006. Richline, which did not reveal the acquisition price, plans to hire more workers at Gemvara as it attempts to grow its footprint in the online sector, spokesman Mark Hanna told The Boston Globe.

Gemvara has had four chief executives, with cofounder Matt Lauzon holding the job twice, and has had to fire workers as it tried to find a sustainable business. Its latest service was focusing on resetting customers’ existing gemstones. "Gemvara poured most of its efforts into growing the resetting business, essentially putting its previous online shopping sites on auto-pilot. About halfway through 2015, Nichols said the company was on pace for about $20 million in annual sales, although it wasn’t profitable," the Globe reported.