by Leo Jakobson | August 05, 2015
Rideau Recognition Solutions announced yesterday that it has acquired the corporate sales division of Birks Group, which operates 48 jewelry and watch stores in Canada and the United States. 

Montreal-based Rideau, a leader in employee engagement and recognition programs, paid $4.3 million the inventory of the Birks Business division, and will continue to employ its staff. Birks will continue to supply Birks-branded jewelry and watches to Rideau. 

"There's great synergy in this partnership," said Peter W. Hart, CEO of Rideau. "We're combining the power of the Birks brand with the strength of Rideau's technology, distribution capabilities and leadership in the recognition market. Both companies are made stronger because of it."

Founded in 1879, Birks has grown into an "iconic" Canada retailer, designer, and manufacturer of fine jewelry, timepieces, sterling and plated silverware and gifts, Hart said. 

The sale allows Birks -- which also runs 17 stores in the Southeastern U.S. under the Mayors brand -- to refocus its efforts on its core retail and manufacturing operations, while still maintaining a presence in the recognition program, service award, and business gift channels, said Jean-Christophe Bédos, president and CEO of Birks Group.