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HRD Antwerp Not for Sale (for Now)

AWDC approves new CEO Ellen Joncheere’s turnaround plan.
Feb 23, 2020 7:11 AM   By Joshua Freedman
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RAPAPORT... The Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has postponed the sale of HRD Antwerp, and will instead embark on a turnaround strategy for the laboratory.

“The [AWDC] board of directors and standing committee decided not to sell before the plan is implemented,” Ellen Joncheere, HRD’s new CEO, said Thursday in an email to Rapaport News.

The Belgian trade organization, which owns HRD, asked Joncheere to examine the business’s condition and recommend a course of action, an AWDC spokesperson explained. She devised a plan that focuses on research and education, and intends to “differentiate [HRD] with new certificates,” she added, without giving details. The board approved the proposal on Wednesday, the executive reported.

The AWDC also rejected a second takeover bid from former managing director Peter Meeus, Joncheere said. Meeus — who was seeking 51% of the business — said he was “seriously disappointed with this news.”

Joncheere joined HRD as CEO last month from car-part supplier Fremach International, where she held the same position. The appointment happened in the middle of a process to sell the company, with Meeus, Sarine Technologies and Serge Couvreur — another former head of HRD — putting in bids late last year. Sarine and Couvreur declined to comment on the status of their takeover attempts.

Image: Ellen Joncheere. (HRD Antwerp)
Tags: Antwerp, Antwerp World Diamond Centre, AWDC, Ellen Joncheere, Fremach International, HRD, HRD Antwerp, Joshua Freedman, Peter Meeus, Rapaport News, Sarine, Sarine Technologies, Serge Couvreur
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