H Samuel owner Signet has bought US jewellery giant Zale Corporation for $1.4bn.

Signet and Zale, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, have entered a definitive agreement and Signet will pay $21 per share for the retailer. Zle has more than 750 stores in the US and Puerto Rico.

Signet chief executive Mike Barnes said: “This transformational acquisition further diversifies our businesses and extends our international footprint, opening the door to greater growth and innovation across the enterprise.

“The addition of Zale to the Signet family is consistent with our long-term growth strategy and leverages our combined operating expertise to create better choices for our customers, new opportunities for our employees, and makes us a more attractive partner to our vendors. 

“In addition, it allows us to better optimize our balance sheet, creating long-term value for our shareholders.”

Barnes said Zale chief executive Theo Killion will continue to run the business and will report into him.

Signet will now operate Kay, Jared The Galleria Of Jewelry, Zales and Peoples in the US and H.Samuel and Ernest Jones in the UK.