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Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Snaps Up Two Jewelry Firms

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced Friday it will acquire jewelry makers Bel-Oro International and Aurafin in a deal that would create the largest jewelry supplier in the United States.

The combined company will be named the Richline Group and will continue to operate under multiple brands, according to a Berkshire Hathaway release. Terms of the deal were not discussed.

Richline will be led by Dennis Ulrich, president of New York-based Bel-Oro, who will serve as chief executive, and Dave Meleski, CEO of Aurafin, will serve as Richline's president. Aurafin will be sold by Norwest Equity Partners, which bought the Tamarac, Fla.-based company in 1999.

"The opportunity to partner with Dennis Ulrich and his entire team was one I couldn't pass up," said Buffett in a prepared statement. "They have done a remarkable job in building Bel-Oro from a standing start to the leader in its industry. And the best is yet to come."

The deal is expected to close this year in the second or third quarter, Berkshire Hathaway said.

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