Lev Leviev vs De Beers

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : ECOA125 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 2004
Organization : De beers, Lev Leviev
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : South Africa, Global
Industry : Diamond


South Africa-based De Beers has enjoyed an unchallenged monopoly in the global diamonds business for close to 100 years. Until a few years ago, De Beers determined who could buy uncut stones, in what quantities and quality. De Beers also decided which cutting centres would be used.

But its share of the international rough-diamond market, 80% five years ago, has now reduced to 45%. Meanwhile, Lev Leviev (Leviev), a former De Beers sightholder (one of the few exclusive direct buyers of De Beers rough diamonds) has emerged as the world's largest cutter and polisher of precious gems. Frustrated by De Beers' high-handed treatment of buyers, Leviev has decided to operate on his own.

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Leviev has begun dealing directly with diamond-producing governments, thus undermining De Beers' all-important relationship with sightholders. Leviev is the diamond industry's first dealer to operate across the value chain - from mining and cutting to polishing and retailing. The case discusses the circumstances leading to Lev Leviev's rise and the consequent decline in De Beers' monopolistic power. The case also explains how De Beers is repositioning itself to regain its lost glory.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
About De Beers 1
About Leviev 5
Russia 6
Angola 7
Namibia 8
The Road Ahead 9


Lev Leviev, De Beers, Diamond industry, Sightholder, South African company, Russia, Angola, Cecil Rhodes, Branding diamonds, Forevermark, Tashkent, Namibia, Vivid Collection, South African mining giant, LVMH (Moet Hennessy-Louis Vuitton)

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