Majors

Owner of Ross-Simons Acquired by Private Equity Firm

MajorsDec 14, 2020

Owner of Ross-Simons Acquired by Private Equity Firm

Nonatum Capital Partners bought Luxury Brand Holdings Inc. for an undisclosed sum.

These 0.94-carat Diamond Starburst drop earrings in 14-karat white gold retail for $1,895 on the Ross-Simons website. Ross-Simons parent company, Luxury Brand Holdings, has been acquired by private equity firm Nonatum Capital Partners.

Boston—Private equity firm Nonatum Capital Partners has acquired Luxury Brand Holdings Inc., the companies announced last week.

Luxury Brand Holdings is the parent company of retailers Ross-Simons and Sidney Thomas and has a majority stake in Luca + Danni, a Rhode Island-based direct-to-consumer jewelry brand known for its inexpensive, stackable and collectable bangle bracelets.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but CEO Jim Speltz told National Jeweler in an interview Friday that the company’s leadership will remain unchanged, as will its location and channels of business.

Speltz took over as CEO from Darrell Ross at the beginning of the year.

At that time, Ross stepped back from the day-to-day operations of the business to spend more time with his family. He remains on the company’s board and will still represent Ross-Simons at trade shows (whenever they return), Speltz said.

Headquartered in Boston, Nonatum Capital Partners is a middle-market private equity firm. Its specialties include investing in family- or founder-run businesses.

Goodwin Procter advised Nonatum on the transaction, while Consensus Advisors and law firm Hinckley Allen acted as advisors to Luxury Brand Holdings.

Ross’ father, Sidney Thomas Ross, opened the first Ross-Simons store in downtown Providence, Rhode Island in 1952.

At its peak in the early 2000s, the retailer had 15 stores and its business was about 50 percent fine jewelry and 50 percent tabletop and giftware, a category driven primarily by bridal registries, Speltz said.

That business all but evaporated as changing consumer tastes led to a steep drop in demand for china patterns and crystal vases, and Ross-Simons shifted its focus to e-commerce, backed by the catalog business it had been operating since the ‘80s.

Today, Luxury Brand Holdings has three stores—a flagship in Warwick, Rhode Island along with Sidney Thomas stores in Newark, Delaware and Short Hills, New Jersey—which are all part of the Nonatum acquisition.

Brick-and-mortar retail, however, represents a “very small slice” of the Luxury Brand Holdings’ business, Speltz said.

The company doesn’t plan to open additional physical stores.

It will instead focus on expanding e-commerce both in the United States and internationally, and growing fashion jewelry categories (the company does not sell any bridal) where it sees opportunity, such as personalized and custom jewelry.

“From a strategic standpoint, we will continue to focus on our value proposition—high-quality jewelry that will exceed expectations for the price you are paying,” Speltz said.

Luxury Brand Holdings ranks No. 11 on National Jeweler’s 2020 $100 Million Supersellers list, with an estimated $553 million sales in 2019.
Michelle Graffis the editor-in-chief at National Jeweler, directing the publication’s coverage both online and in print.
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