Signet Jewelers to buy Zale for about $900M

| Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Two diamond sellers are getting engaged.

Signet Jewelers said on Wednesday that it agreed to buy Zale Corp. for roughly $900 million to help it expand in North America.

Shares of Zale soared more than 40 percent in premarket trading, while Bermuda-based Signet Jewelers Ltd.'s stock rose more than 9 percent.

Signet, which operates 1,400 U.S. stores under the names Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry and 500 stores in the U.K. under the names H. Samuel and Ernest Jones, said it will pay $21 per share. That's a 41 percent premium to Zale's $14.91 Tuesday closing price.

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