Home News Co-Founder Dispute Roils HB Antwerp Amid Pending Botswana Deal

Co-Founder Dispute Roils HB Antwerp Amid Pending Botswana Deal

by Madonna

London, September 11, 2023 – HB Antwerp, a prominent diamond processor and trader, announced on Monday that it had ousted one of its co-founders from management, citing differences in strategic direction. This development occurs against the backdrop of a forthcoming sales agreement with Botswana, a major diamond producer.

Oded Mansori, who, along with partners Shai de Toledo and Rafael Papismedov, co-founded HB Antwerp in 2020, has responded by initiating legal proceedings against his removal.


In an official statement, the Belgian company declared, “On September 1, HB terminated Mr. Oded Mansori’s management role in all the HB Companies,” attributing this decision to a “sharp difference in strategic vision and approaches to business.”


Botswana’s government, the world’s leading diamond producer by value, announced in March that it had reached an agreement to acquire a 24% stake in HB Antwerp. Under this proposed deal, the state-owned Okavango Diamond Company would supply HB with an undisclosed volume of rough diamonds for a period of five years. It is important to note that the deal has not yet been finalized.


Mansori, a seasoned figure in the diamond trade, issued a separate statement asserting his determination to “defend his vision and fight for the well-being and future of HB.” He further disclosed the initiation of legal proceedings currently underway in court. Mansori emphasized that he remains a shareholder in the company.

HB Antwerp has also forged a partnership with Lucara Diamond Corp (LUC.TO), involving the purchase of stones with a quality rating of 10 carats or higher from Lucara’s Karowe Mine in central Botswana. The pricing structure is based on the estimated polished value of each diamond. Lucara has not issued an immediate response regarding whether the ongoing legal dispute might affect its own arrangement with HB Antwerp.

In 2022, HB Antwerp collaborated with Microsoft to implement a blockchain-based system for tracking mined gems. This initiative emerged in response to growing consumer concerns about eliminating fraudulent supply chain practices and preventing the sale of diamonds originating from conflict zones that fund insurgencies.

Notably, other diamond mining companies, such as De Beers, a unit of Anglo American (AAL.L), have also embraced blockchain platforms to trace the origin of their diamonds and verify their authenticity.


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