Viktor Vekselberg, Russian billionaire and co-owner of UC Rusal aluminium giant and TNK-BP oil venture, has teamed up with the founder of BHP Billiton Brian Gilbertson to produce jewelry under the famous Faberge trademark.
Gilbertson, who used to be the president of SUAL, Vekselberg’s aluminium company, runs Pallinghurst Resources, an investment fund, whose key asset is the Faberge trademark. It was reported that Vekselberg intends to become a core shareholders in the fund.
The two partners have launched an ambitious project to make Faberge jewelry with the participation of Russia’s largest diamond producer Alrosa.
According to the paper’s source, Pallinghurst Resources intends to use the Faberge brand, among other things, to promote Russian diamond sales. Alrosa declined to comment.
In February 2004, Vekselberg purchased the late Malcolm Forbes’ Faberge collection, including nine Easter Eggs created in the late 19th and early 20th centuries on commission from Russia’s Imperial House, and about 180 other Faberge pieces. The transaction, arranged through Sotheby’s, is said to have been in excess of $90 million.