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Fairlawn-based Signet Jewelers is buying Diamonds Direct, a Charlotte, N.C., jeweler for $490-million in an all cash transaction, which is expected to close by the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022, according to Signet.

Diamonds Direct has 23 stores across the country, including one at Beachwood Place, the former LaPlace shopping center.

Diamonds Direct was founded in 1995, using a direct importation business model, with diamonds from the world diamond exchange in Tel Aviv, Israel, sold to U.S. customers.

Diamonds Direct was bought by private equity firm Blackstone in 2015 for an undisclosed price, the Charlotte Observer reported at the time. And in 2017, Diamonds Direct acquired Distinctive Diamonds and its sister company, Global Diamonds, adding four stores to the business, the Observer reported at the time.

“I am excited about Diamonds Direct joining the Signet family as we share a passion for company culture that prioritizes our team members, our customers and our community,” Diamonds Direct President Itay Berger said in the release. “We are thrilled to continue to grow our business, leveraging Signet’s strengths and strategic capabilities to bring even more innovation and value to our signature shopping experience.”

Signet said, ​​following the acquisition, Diamonds Direct’s current leadership team will remain intact. Berger will report directly to Signet CEO Gina Drosos.

Signet, the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry, owns 2,800 stores in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom, and has $5.2 billion in sales annually, according to the company. Signet’s brands are among others, Kay Jewelers, Zales, Jared, H. Samuel, Ernest Jones, Peoples, Piercing Pagoda, Rocksbox and

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