Louis Vuitton pays $30m for 3,200 diamonds in China
The company, known for its designer handbags, jewelry and watches, has announced a $30 million investment in China in what it hopes will be a new avenue for growth in the country.
The deal with the Chinese state-owned mining group is part of a larger global strategy that has seen Louis VU sell more than 1,200 properties around the world, including a major gold mine in China’s Zhejiang province.
The purchase of the diamond mine in Zheji is the largest ever by a single firm in China.
The Louis-Vuitton deal is part the company’s global push into the Chinese diamond market, as the Chinese government has ramped up its efforts to develop the diamond industry.
China has a total of 4,600 diamonds, and has the second-largest diamond production capacity in the world behind the United States.
It also produces more than 200 tonnes of pure diamond annually, according to the World Diamond Council.
In a statement, Louis said it will continue to explore opportunities to strengthen its diamond business in China and elsewhere in the region.
“This investment will further strengthen Louis’ position as one of the world’s leading diamond producers and will further benefit Louis and its clients,” the statement said.
“We will continue our strong focus on enhancing our operations and strengthening our brands.”
The new Chinese deal is the latest in a series of investments by the French luxury house in China, including acquisitions and investments in its luxury brands like Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Bulgari Lifestyle.
Earlier this year, the French-Italian designer also announced plans to invest in the diamond mines of Xinyu and Yanjiang in Xinjiang province, part of its wider push to tap into the diamond market.
It is also expected to invest billions of dollars in a new Chinese factory, which is expected to be operational by 2021.
The Chinese diamond industry is estimated to have an annual turnover of $4.7 billion, according the National Diamond Council, which represents global diamond producers.
However, China’s diamond mines are underfunded and some mines have been shut down since the beginning of the year.
In addition to Louis, the company is investing in other luxury brands, including the designer Marc Jacobs.
The company also plans to buy another diamond mine, the Xinyuan Diamond Mine, in Xinjing province, which will have a capacity of 3 million tonnes of diamond annually.