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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Faberge Brand Set for a Revival

Itar-TassVekselberg attending a Faberge exhibition in St. Petersburg in December.
Billionaire Viktor Vekselberg's Renova plans to become the largest shareholder in Pallinghurst Resources Investment Fund, Kommersant reported Monday, citing unidentified partners of the billionaire.

Pallinghurst, a London-based private equity fund headed by Brian Gilbertson, a former president of Vekselberg-controlled aluminum producer SUAL, plans to join forces with Renova to make Faberge-branded clothes, cosmetics, jewelry and replicas of the eggs by the Russian imperial jeweler, the newspaper reported.

Sean Gilbertson, a partner at Pallinghurst and Brian Gilbertson's son, declined to say whether Renova had expressed any interest in Pallinghurst, saying Monday: "The fund is open to investment by any party."

Pallinghurst bought the Faberge brand from Unilever for $30 million to $40 million in January, Kommersant said. The fund has the right to produce eight types of products under the brand, including jewelry and clothes, the paper said.

Sean Gilbertson said: "Vekselberg declined to invest on the terms ... available [at that time] and is thus not a co-owner of Faberge."

He confirmed that Pallinghurst and its partners intended to use Faberge "to create the world's most exclusive luxury goods brand."

"Pallinghurst Resources and Alrosa could use the Faberge name to create arguably the most powerful diamond brand in the world," Sean Gilbertson said, noting that Alrosa, which will phase out its rough diamond sales to De Beers within the next two years, will open up to more intense competition.

Alrosa is not considering buying the name from Pallinghurst, Interfax reported Monday, citing a company representative.

"The company does not view projects connected with the use of the Faberge brand as promising," the Alrosa representative was quoted as saying.

"There's no way they can buy it," said Gilbertson, meaning his firm already owned the brand.

However, he added that cooperation with Alrosa would be "an enormously exciting project."

Renova declined to comment on the report Monday.