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Blackstone set to buy diamond-grading company IGI for up to $550 million




Private equity firm Blackstone is likely to sign an agreement with Fosun and IGI’s other shareholders by the end of this week

Blackstone is ready to buy the independent diamond-grading company International Gemological Institute (IGI), the Economic Times reports. The company is owned by China Fosun International, the Lorie family that founded the company, and various other small shareholders.

Citing people aware of the deal’s details, the newspaper reported that the transaction would likely be finalized at an enterprise value of $500-550 million. IGI owes its lenders $150 million. The report added that the private equity firm Blackstone would likely sign an agreement with Fosun and IGI’s other shareholders by the end of this week.

IGI was established in 1975, and it grades diamonds on their quality and provides certifications based on its assessment IGI certifications are recognized worldwide. Notably, India is a cutting and polishing hub and accounts for 90% of stones sold globally, primarily from Surat, Gujarat.

Given the situation around the Russia-Ukraine war, diamonds mined in Russia are likely to face G7 sanctions as NATO countries look to stifle Russia economically. IGI manages 20 laboratories worldwide that grade and certifies finished jewellery, natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds and other precious stones. Moreover, IGI also operates 14 schools that train professionals for the diamond industry. Previously, in 2018, China’s Fosun International had acquired an 80% stake in IGI’s business taking control from the founders, the Lorie family of Belgium.


Courtesy: Business Standard

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