Diamonds / Industry

Blackstone Poised to Buy IGI Lab, Report Says


Private equity firm Blackstone is poised to buy diamond grading lab International Gemological Institute (IGI) from current owners Fosun and the Lorie family, according to a report in India’s Economic Times.

The report, sourced to “two people directly aware of the development,” said the deal could be signed as early as this weekend. The sale would reportedly give IGI an enterprise value of $500 million to $550 million; Fosun paid $109 million for its 80% stake in 2018. The newspaper also said IGI has $150 million in debt.

Fosun Group, one of China’s largest non-state-owned conglomerates, currently owns 80% of the lab, through its subsidiary Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart Co. International Gemological Institute CEO Roland Lorie and his family own the other 20%.

The Economic Times article said that Goldman Sachs private equity and CVC Capital had also looked at acquiring the grading service.

A Blackstone spokesperson tells JCK, “We will let you know when there are developments on this front.” IGI and Lorie did not respond to requests for comment.

IGI acknowledged it was up for sale in December. At that time, Fosun reportedly valued it at $215 million.

Founded in 1975, IGI has grading labs and training schools in Antwerp, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Mumbai, Bangkok, Tokyo, Dubai, Tel Aviv, and other locales.

(Photo courtesy of International Gemological Institute)


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By: Rob Bates

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