Li Du was feeling dizzy from the four of them quarreling among themselves. He regretted not listening to the African-American driver earlier and not choosing another jewelry shop to sell the gemstones to.
Americans sure knew how to disgrace each other. He was waiting there to do business with Roger when the other three decided to sabotage it on the spot.
It was apparent that the deal was off. Harry Winston was definitely facing financial problems and from what the other three had said, they did not have enough money for a bulk gemstone procurement.
It was a little unbelievable to him as Harry Winston was a major brand in the luxury goods industry. Of course, they sold mainly jewelry and gemstones and hence, was not comparable to the giant brands like LV and Dior, which sold all sorts of luxury goods.
Nonetheless, their market share was worth at least a billion dollars and they could not spare a few million?
However, after listening to the four of them, Harry Winston was indeed currently in need of the few million dollars.
Tedrick and the others were not at all intending to avoid humiliating the company and Roger. At the moment, they only wanted to quickly sell their shares.
Feeling dreary from the quarrels, Li Du could not help interrupting. "Guys, calm down. From my understanding, Harry Winston is currently in a bad situation. Is that right?"
Roger frowned and replied, "Mr. Li, you are mistaken, our company . . ."
"At this point in time, who do you still want to lie to?" Tedrick shouted. "Roger, you can go on the internet yourself and have a look. The predicament our company is in has already been posted online. The media has already begun reporting on the problem of the Ekati diamond mine!"
Roger opened his mouth, wanting to speak. However, after moving his lips a little, he ended up not speaking and only let out a dispirited sigh.
Norman said in a dissatisfied manner, "Initially when the company wanted to spend a large sum of money to procure the Ekati diamond mine, I suggested not to gamble, not to gamble, not to gamble. In the end, did anyone listen?"
"That's right. With the global luxury goods market currently experiencing a downturn, the company was still dumb enough to spend five billion dollars to procure a barren diamond mine. So stupid!"
Seeing them complaining and quarreling again, Li Du raised his hands. "Guys, guys, calm down. What are you all worried about? Since all of you are Harry Winston shareholders, you guys should be aware of the market power the company has, right?"
"The company has huge market power. Despite that, if we were to declare bankruptcy, what use is there in having that huge market power? The market power of Lehman Brothers was even larger, right? Didn't they still go bankrupt?" Norman said in a cold manner.
Lehman Brothers was once one of the world's top four investment firms. In 2008, they declared bankruptcy, which intensified the global financial crisis.
At that time, Li Du was still attending university in China. Hence, he was not very clear on the whole situation. However, for America, the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers had a huge impact. Many companies followed suit and also declared bankruptcy, while lots of people became penniless overnight.
Therefore, due to having such experiences before, Norman and the others were very agitated. They knew that once Harry Winston declared bankruptcy, their remaining years would be miserable.
Although Li Du did not intend to partake in their problems, he could not help saying a few words on Roger's behalf. Li Du felt pity seeing him in such a difficult position.
"It's apparent the situation of the Lehman Brothers is different from Harry Winston's. Lehman Brothers was such a huge entity that even the government was unable to take over. On the other hand, Harry Winston is a 100-year-old brand with a good reputation. It will not go bankrupt. Even if the returns are not great, there will be companies who will want to procure it."
"Even though what you said is right, how much will other companies be willing to pay for our shares?" Tedrick said.
Li Du was silent. Indeed, what Tedrick said was true. If Harry Winston was bought, the other party would definitely lower the price, resulting in a situation where their shares would be less valuable.
Roger said admonishingly, "I admit, Harry Winston may have encountered some problems. Nonetheless, we still have our brand and with it, potential."
He pointed to Li Du. "Look, didn't Mr. Li come to us to sell these gemstones because of our brand's reputation? We have the world's most reputable brand, the best designers, we just need enough gemstones . . ."
"Yes, enough gemstones. So, where are they? How do we get them?" Norman said coldly. "Fine. There are a few fire opals here now, but how are you going to obtain them?"
Roger was no longer speaking and looked very stumped with eyebrows tightly knit.
The people speaking were not taking each other seriously but Li Du was. Even though the two of them were mindlessly talking with each other, it gave Li Du an idea.
This was an opportunity!
Harry Winston was facing a crisis that was the result of a failed investment. It led to poor cash flow that caused many shareholders to lose confidence and want to sell their shares.
Naturally, at this point in time, the shares could only be sold at a lower price. At the very least, the selling price would be much lower than when Harry Winston had good cash flow. As such, why would Li Du not think of a way to buy the shares?
He was currently intending to enter the jewelry industry and gemstone business. However, his status was only that of a raw material provider.
According to the principle of income distribution within the three stages of production, raw material providers have the lowest income distributed, while the most profitable was the retailers who had ways into the markets.
Harry Winston was a retailer that not only had access to the market but also a reputation that was built over a hundred years.
If he was to buy shares and become a shareholder, he would have a place to deal all the gemstones he acquired in the future. He could pass them over to his own company to sculpt into products for sale.
At this rate, the profits would be huge!
Despite that, there was still a risk to doing this. How much money did he have now? How many shares could he buy? It was simply not enough to affect the decisions of the company!
In other terms, if he was incapable of saving the company, the company would still have to declare bankruptcy and be sold off, which left his investment with no return.
Soon, Li Du was frowning more than Roger, having met the most difficult decision in his life.
He was sitting on the sofa, pondering agonizingly, unaware of what was going on around him.
After an unknown period of time, someone patted him on the shoulder and said, "Mr. Li, are you alright?"
With his deep thoughts interrupted, he automatically nodded his head. "Oh, I'm fine. I was just thinking through some stuff. Roger?"
The person who patted his shoulder was Roger. The four of them had already stopped arguing and it was now Tedrick and the rest who were frowning.
Roger said, "Oh, it was like this Mr. Li. My friends and I were having a bit of a quarrel. I am really sorry for making fools of ourselves."
"No worries." Li Du smiled.
Roger said, "I can't keep taking up your time. If you are willing to sell us your gemstones here, we could start discussing the price."
Li Du inquired, "You guys have the money to buy them?"
After hearing those words, Roger's face turned red as if he had been humiliated. He replied, "Of course, Mr. Li. The value of the jewelry in our store alone is worth more than tens of millions!"
Li Du hurriedly apologized. "My apologies for saying something stupid. Shall we discuss the prices?"