On December 7, 2004, Tiffany & Co. sold its 8 million common shares in Aber Diamond Corp. representing 13.9 per cent of the outstanding common shares through a series of pre-arranged block trades in the US and Canada for proceeds of $336 million.
Tiffany purchased its share position from Aber in a 1999 private placement that provided Aber with funding to proceed with the early stages of the development of the Diavik Diamond Mine. In addition, a diamond sales agreement, completed at the same time in 1999, was amended to remove certain restrictions on the re-sale of Tiffany’s Aber shares and cancel a discount to open market pricing of the future diamond sales to be made to Tiffany under the agreement.
The syndicate of purchasers was led by Merrill Lynch Canada Inc. and included CIBC World Markets Inc., Scotia Capital Inc. and UBS Securities Canada Inc.
Tiffany was represented in-house by Patrick Dorsey, senior vice-president and general counsel, and by Goodmans LLP with a team that included Stephen Halperin, Grant McGlaughlin and Corie Garbati. Tiffany’s US counsel was Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP with a team that included Steven Finley and Kevin Tagami.
Aber was represented in-house by legal consultant Beth Bandler, and by Stikeman Elliott LLP with a team that included Robert Nicholls, Kevin Kelly and Sean Vanderpol.
The purchasers were represented by Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP with a team that included Patricia Olasker and Sonny Bhalla.