NEW DELHI: Titan Company Ltd. on Friday said it has picked up a 17.5% stake in lab-grown diamond maker Great Heights Inc., USA, for an estimated $20 million through its subsidiary TCL North America Inc. The “strategic” investment will provide Titan a ring-side view of the fast-growing lab grown diamond and direct-to-consumer segments, the company said.
Delaware-based Great Height is primarily engaged in retailing of lab grown diamond (LGD) jewellery through its brand Clean Origin. It was set up in January 2019, with revenues having more than doubled to $25 million in the year 2021 from $11 million in 2019.
“TCL North America Inc., (TCLNA) a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company has today signed a Stock Purchase Agreement with Great Heights Inc., USA (Great Heights) for subscription of shares with voting preferred stock in the capital stock of Great Heights, which would result in TCLNA holding up to 17.5% voting rights in Great Heights,” Titan said in a filing to the exchanges on Friday.
The deal is expected to close by 15 March. “This is a strategic investment that will provide Titan a ring-side view of the fast-growing Lab Grown Diamond (LGD) and Direct to Consumer (D2C) sectors,” the company said in its filing.
LGDs are basically diamonds grown in a laboratory as opposed to being mined from earth. Labs use technology that replicates the natural diamond growing process. LGDs have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as those found beneath the earth’s surface.
However, the difference in price is what makes them attractive for consumers. Lab-grown diamonds are at least 30-40% cheaper than those mined.
Mint had earlier reported that India is set to become a hub of production and processing of LGDs. LGDs are expected to account for 10% (estimated at 19.2 million carats) of the worldwide diamond market by 2030.
The move expands the Titan’s interest in the organised jewellery market and reveals its appetite for investments.
Titan Company is among the top organised retailers of jewellery and watches in India. It sells jewellery under brands such as Tanishq, Mia and Zoya, with its timepieces sold through both exclusive as well as multi-brand stores. It also retails eyewear, a range of fragrances, and women’s ethnic wear. In FY21 the company reported a turnover of ₹20,601.83 crore.