China's Fosun Group and Lorie Holding have successfully sold the International Gemological Institute (IGI) to a division of the Blackstone Group for a whopping $569.65 million. The announcement of the sale was made through a statement from Fosun's subsidiary, Shanghai Yuyuan Tourism Mall. The buyer of the grading lab is BCP Asia II Topco Pte., a Singapore-based company that is wholly owned by a private equity investment fund under the control of the Blackstone Group, as stated in the announcement.
According to the statement, as of December 31, 2022, IGI's assets were valued at approximately $83.22 million, with liabilities totalling around $24.2 million. The lab's operating income for 2022 was estimated to be $94.56 million, resulting in a net profit of $34.51 million.
Fosun Group has held an 80% stake in IGI through its subsidiary Alpha Yu BV, while the remaining 20% was maintained by Lorie Holding BV, which is controlled by IGI's current CEO, Roland Lorie.
IGI had previously announced its intention to sell last year, and the pending Blackstone deal was reported by India's Economic Times on Thursday.
Fosun Group will receive $455.38 million for its 80% stake, which it had acquired in 2018 for $101.8 million. Lorie Holding will be compensated $113.85 million for its 20% share. As of now, it remains uncertain whether Roland Lorie will continue as CEO or if other changes are on the horizon.
Blackstone Group, founded in 1985, stands as the world's largest alternative asset management company, overseeing an impressive $991 billion in assets. IGI, on the other hand, was established in 1975 and has 25 diamond grading labs spread across the globe.
IGI's entire management and staff of over 1000 employees will continue to function in the company in their respective positions.
Mukesh Mehta, a Senior Managing Director in Blackstone Private Equity Group, said: “IGI has spearheaded the certification of natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and colored stones, becoming a global market leader and providing confidence to manufacturers, retailers, and consumers around the world. We are bringing the best of Blackstone to the business – our operational expertise, capabilities in technology, and global track record in building successful businesses to help the company expand its global footprint.”
Haide Hong, a Senior Managing Director in Blackstone Private Equity Group, said: “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. 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.”
Roland Lorie, Chief Executive Officer of IGI, said: “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. IGI has been a pioneer in developing products adapted to manufacturers, retailers and consumers’ expectations. Under the patronage of Blackstone, we intend to get even closer to the consumer and to grow the business exponentially. The company’s management team is excited to welcome Blackstone and further cement and build upon our market-leading position with the help of Blackstone’s scale, expertise and global network.”