The Richline Group, Inc. has the pleasure to announce the acquisition of Rio Grande, including Rio Grande’s Neutec branded equipment, from The Bell Group, Inc. Rio Grande Jewelry Supplies is a leading jewelry-industry brand, well-known for its unique culture, vast product offering and a special brand of customer service.
With its president, Hugh Bell, retiring at the end of 2012, Rio Grande, formerly a member of The Bell Group has acted on the opportunity to strengthen and expand its reach into the future as a member of the Richline Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company.
Effective January 1, 2013, Rio Grande will become one of the many successful businesses under the umbrella of Warren Buffett’s flagship, Berkshire Hathaway. The company’s remaining directors, including Alan Bell, Molly Bell and Eddie Bell, plan to continue in their current roles and to support the unique culture that they have developed at Rio Grande. Says Alan Bell, “The values of Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are very much in line with those on which Rio Grande is founded, and we couldn’t be more enthusiastic and optimistic about the future as a member of the Richline Group.”
Dennis Ulrich, CEO of Richline Group, said that “Rio Grande is another important and strategic addition to our brands. The firm’s unique and successful business model is a tribute to the leadership of the Bell family. Rio Grande has a great product line, talented people and long term relationships with its clients.”
In the new corporate structure, Alan Bell and Molly Bell will remain to run the company as President and Executive Vice President, and the business will continue to operate as it has in the past. Eddie Bell will continue to oversee the Santa Fe Symposium and Neutec.
The new corporate structure, in fact, will allow each of the Bells to concentrate in areas where their passions lie. Molly Bell, long a champion of Rio Grande’s special brand of customer service, notes “I am extremely excited that Rio Grande will be moving forward with Berkshire Hathaway, working with the folks at the Richline Group, with our own amazing associates here, and with our customers to build even stronger, more successful relationships.” Eddie Bell, too, who oversees the Santa Fe Symposium and Neutec/Rio Grande®, looks forward with anticipation to the New Year: “It’s going to be a lot of fun to have the collaboration of the manufacturers and factory professionals on the Richline side, joining forces to meet the technical challenges jewelry-makers face every day.”
Dave Meleski, Richline Group’s President stated, “a key goal of this acquisition is that, with our financial support and collaboration, Rio Grande will be able to meet the future challenges of the jewelry industry. Rio Grande will be a stand-alone business, as are recent acquisitions, LeachGarner and Inverness.”
About Richline Group, Inc.
Richline Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., is the USA’s foremost Fine Jewelry Manufacturer and Marketer. The Richline Group was formed in 2007. Currently, the major brands comprising Richline’s portfolio are LeachGarner, Inverness, Richline International and Richline Brands. Berkshire Hathaway, and its subsidiaries, engages in diverse business activities including property and casualty insurance, utilities and energy, finance, manufacturing, retailing and services. The Common Stock of the Company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols BRK.A and BRK.B.