3i to invest $30 million in HK jeweller John Hardy

TOKYO Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:45am BST

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TOKYO Oct 25 (Reuters) - British private equity and venture capital firm 3i Group Plc (III.L) said on Thursday it will invest $30 million in Hong Kong-based jeweller John Hardy Group.

After 18 years in the business, John Hardy's founders are retiring and have agreed to sell the firm to company chief executive officer Damien Dernoncourt and creative director Guy Bedarida. 3i's investment will support the management buyout.

Founded in 1989 by John Hardy, its products are now sold in major department stores including Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Bloomingdales.

The firm plans to introduce new collections and increase its sales in the Middle East, Russia and Japan, where the brand already has a growing presence.