Huron Capital has made a “significant” investment in Maryland-based WD Lab Grown Diamonds, a producer of laboratory grown diamonds for the jewelry, scientific and industrial markets. No financial terms were disclosed. TM Capital served as financial adviser to WD on the transaction.
DETROIT– January 7, 2019 – Leading middle-market private equity firm Huron Capital announced today it has made a significant equity investment in WD Lab Grown Diamonds (“WD” or the “Company”). Based in the Washington D.C. area, the Company is a leading producer of large, ultra-high-quality laboratory grown diamonds for the jewelry, scientific and industrial markets.
“The Huron Capital investment is expected to help us significantly expand our capacity in the fast-growing, high-quality segments of both the gem and industrial markets, and build our base of trade partnerships,” Clive Hill, WD founder and CEO, said. “We believe we can provide the safest supply certainty for this technical product and the most consistent volume option for the biggest players in the gem market – as illustrated by our support to Richline Group, a Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary, for their recently launched lab-grown diamond brand, which services national retailers with diamonds grown by WD.”
WD holds an extensive portfolio of exclusive global licenses with the Carnegie Institution of Washington (“Carnegie Institution”) centered on the patented Chemical Vapor Deposition (“CVD”) process and other methods to grow diamonds. The Carnegie Institution has been a shareholder in WD since 2011. WD is well-known commercially to be able to grow and supply its retail, wholesale and industrial customers with consistent quantity and quality of diamonds to meet demand. In May 2018, WD’s laboratories produced the world largest known gem-quality lab-grown diamond to date in a matter of months, compared with the billions of years it can take diamonds to form in the earth.
“Huron Capital is expected to bring expertise to help manage our explosive growth and can also help set our priorities in the scientific and industrial diamond markets,” Yarden Tsach, WD’s Chief Technology Officer, said.
Lab-grown diamonds and mined diamonds have the same optical, chemical and physical properties, leaving their origin as their only difference. In July 2018, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission released its Revised Jewelry Guides, leveling the competitive landscape for the sale of lab-grown and industrially-mined diamonds to consumers. Michael Beauregard, Senior Partner at Huron Capital, said “We believe WD’s exclusive technology and manufacturing capabilities place the Company at the forefront of one of the fastest-growing segments of the diamond industry.”
“Clive Hill, co-owner Yarden Tsach and the talented management team at WD have created a cutting-edge company with an exciting future, and we are thrilled to become part of it,” Michael Zukas, Huron Capital Vice President, said. Hill and Tsach will continue to lead the business as CEO and CTO, respectively, and each remains a significant shareholder in the business.
TM Capital served as financial advisor to WD in connection with Huron Capital’s investment.
About Huron Capital
Based in Detroit, Huron Capital is an operationally-focused private equity firm with a long history of growing lower middle-market companies through our proprietary ExecFactor® buy-and-build investment model. We prefer complex situations where we can help companies reach their full potential by combining our operational approach, substantial capital base, and transaction experience with seasoned operating executives. Celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2019, Huron Capital has raised over $1.8 billion in capital through six committed private equity funds and invested in over 150 companies, and our portfolio companies have employed over 11,000 people throughout North America. The Huron Capital buy-and-build investment model includes equity recapitalizations, family succession transactions, market-entry strategies, corporate carve-outs, and management buyouts of companies having revenues up to $200 million. Huron Capital targets both control and non-control equity stakes in fundamentally-sound companies that can benefit from the firm’s operational approach to creating value. Huron Capital’s sector focus includes business services, consumer products & services and specialty industrials. For more information, please visit: www.huroncapital.com.
About WD Lab Grown Diamonds
Based in the Washington, DC area and founded in 2008, WD Lab Grown Diamonds produces some of the highest quality Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds in the gem stone market. It is the leader in quality, service, and capability in CVD diamonds. The Company also offers new technologies and applications for diamonds in industrial settings. WD Lab Grown Diamonds is the exclusive licensee of a portfolio of patents covering single crystal CVD diamond growth technology developed by The Carnegie Institution of Washington. WD is jointly owned by Clive Hill, Yarden Tsach, Huron Capital, The Carnegie Institution of Washington and other members of WD management. For more information, visit www.wdlabgrowndiamonds.com.