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AURUM ATTRACTS SUITORS: Could Harvey Nichols owner Dickson Poon have his eye on Aurum, the U.K.-based jewelry group? According to a report on Sky News’ blog Monday, Hong Kong-based Poon is planning on bidding for Aurum, which houses the U.K. jewelry retailers Mappin & Webb, Watches of Switzerland and Goldsmiths. A spokeswoman for Aurum declined comment Tuesday, as did a spokeswoman for Harvey Nichols. However, sources noted that Aurum’s sale process, which was announced in April, is at an early stage.
Aurum was one of the retailers in which the now bankrupt investor Baugur was a shareholder. Currently it’s owned by Landsbanki Islands hf, an Icelandic bank, along with chairman Don McCarthy and Aurum’s management team. The shareholders put the company up for sale last month, after it reported sales of 326 million pounds, or $534 million, in the year to Jan. 30, and an earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization figure for the period of 16.1 million pounds, or $26 million, an increase of 53 percent on the previous year’s figure.