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Richemont Takes 20 percent Stake in Adornis.com

Adornis.com, a European-based company that sells branded fine jewelry, said that Richemont Investments SA, a subsidiary of Compagnie Financiere Richemont, the Swiss luxury group, made a $5 million investment in exchange for a 20 percent stake in the business.

Richemont owns some of the most exclusive brands in the world, including Cartier, Alfred Dunhill, Montblanc, Lancel, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and Baume & Mercier, and has a controlling interest in Van Cleef & Arpels.

The investment in Adornis.com gives Richemont one seat on Adornis.com's board of directors.

We are very impressed with the Adornis.com business model and the management team's extensive experience building and caring for luxury brands," said Francois Meffre, chief financial officer of Cartier, speaking for Richemont.

"We also see an important balance between Adornis.com's technological and luxury branding expertise and believe the combination has established one of the first presentations of luxury branding on the Internet."

"We are pleased not only to have their endorsement, but also look forward to their involvement in the evolution of our business," said Adornis.com's co-founder and chairman, Irish entrepreneur Declan Ganley.

Ganley, tapped Jeanne Daniel, formerly executive vice president of merchandising and marketing at Tiffany & Co. to be Adornis.com's president and chief executive officer.

Adornis.com launched its Web site Nov. 24 with 14 leading designer collections and will add new designers weekly for the foreseeable future.