Sourcing

De Grisogono USA Files for Bankruptcy in New York

SourcingFeb 14, 2020

De Grisogono USA Files for Bankruptcy in New York

Less than a month after the luxury brand filed in Switzerland, its U.S. division is seeking relief under Chapter 7.

Luxury jeweler De Grisogono filed for bankruptcy in Switzerland in late January, and now its U.S. division is seeking relief under Chapter 7 in New York.

New York—Less than a month after De Grisogono filed for bankruptcy in Switzerland, where it is headquartered, its U.S. division has followed suit.

In a Chapter 7 filing made Feb. 10 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, the brand listed its assets at an estimated $1 million to $10 million and its liabilities between $10 million and $50 million.

The attorney listed for De Grisogono on the filing did not respond to a request for comment from National Jeweler by press time.

De Grisogono had a boutique in New York, located on Madison Avenue in Manhattan. Retailers such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Westime and London Jewelers also carried the brand in the United States, according to its website.

De Grisogono USA is wholly owned by its parent company, the luxury jeweler known for its high-end creations, celebrity clientele and star-studded party at the Cannes Film Festival.

The brand filed for bankruptcy in Switzerland late last month after failing to find a buyer.

“Without financial support from the current shareholders and without a new investor, unfortunately, the company cannot continue as a going concern,” it said in a statement released at that time.

The bankruptcy filing came just after an investigation dubbed “Luanda Leaks” was made public alleging De Grisogono was part of a money-laundering scheme.

The investigation laid out allegations that Isabel dos Santos—the billionaire daughter of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos—her husband Sindika Dokolo and their intermediaries built an empire comprised of more than 400 companies and subsidiaries to launder the funds.

This included Dokolo allegedly partnering with Angolan state-owned diamond firm Sodiam to buy a stake in De Grisogono and then pump millions in government money into the brand.

Dos Santos and Dokolo have been named as suspects in an investigation into corruption by Angola’s prosecutor, and an Angolan court has frozen her assets.

Both have repeatedly denied receiving any profits from their political connections.

Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

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