Almas Resources: Emerging Diamond Producer

Blackstone Buys IGI for Nearly $570M

May 22, 2023


The International Gemological Institute (IGI) has sold to US investment giant Blackstone for $569.65 million in cash, according to a statement by China’s Fosun International, the current majority owner.

Fosun subsidiary Alpha Yu will sell its 80% stake, while IGI CEO Roland Lorie’s holding company, Lorie Holding, will sell its 20% interest, the former said Sunday. The acquisition includes IGI Belgium, IGI Netherlands and IGI India, all of which have the same 80:20 ownership structure. Blackstone will pay $455.38 million to Alpha Yu and $113.85 million to Lorie Holding.

“IGI has had a successful track record for close to 50 years since we founded the company, and we are pleased to entrust Blackstone to take IGI on to its next stage of development,” Lorie said in a statement that Blackstone issued the same day. Blackstone will carry out the acquisition through its BCP Asia II fund.

The sale will enable Fosun to focus more resources on “key development strategies,” said the Shanghai-based conglomerate, which has investments in multiple industries.

IGI’s net profit after tax rose 20% to $34.5 million in 2022, the Fosun statement also revealed. IGI’s unaudited total assets were approximately $83.2 million as of December 31, 2022, while its net assets amounted to $59 million.

“We have been hugely impressed by the development of IGI under the strong leadership of its management team and with the support of Fosun, and we are excited to partner with IGI to help accelerate its growth trajectory,” commented Haide Hong, a senior managing director in Blackstone’s private-equity group. “With its strong brand and reputation of upholding the highest standards of quality and authenticity, IGI is well-positioned to benefit from the increasing popularity of gemology.”

This is not Blackstone’s first foray into the jewellery industry. The company owned US retailer Diamonds Direct until it sold it to Signet Jewellers in 2021.

SOURCE: Rapaport

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