Belgium’s Exelco NV, a former De Beers Sightholder, and still listed as a customer on the De Beers website, has sought chapter 11 protection in the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware.
The company is owned in equal parts by Lior Kunstler and Jean Paul Tolkowsky, who in 2009, invented the Princess Ideal Cut that is sold through the Signet Group, and is the great nephew of Marcel Tolkowsky, inventor of the ideal round brilliant diamond cut in 1919. Tolkowsky is the seventh generation of a jeweller family that stretches back to Abraham Tolkowsky, an artisan who, in 1800, became a jeweller to European nobility.
Court documents show the company’s listed assets as being between $10 million and $50 million, with liabilities of between $50 million and $100 millio. A hearing date was yet to be set at the time of reporting.
According to the listing on the De Beers website, Exelco, which was established in 1993, has two factories in Africa and Thailand. The company’s biggest three creditors ̶ Eurostar Diamond Traders NV, I.D.H. Diamonds NV and Vitraag BVBA ̶ are collectively owed nearly $12 million, with Eurostar being owed just over $6 million.
Exelco’s assets were seized some months ago by the KBC Bank, which wanted repayment of €26 million ($30 million) it was owed. A Belgian court ordered the bank to return the assets.