Diamonds / Industry

The IGI Grading Lab Is Up For Sale


International Gemological Institute (IGI) CEO Roland Lorie has confirmed a Jan. 12 Bloomberg report that said that owner Fosun Group was considering a sale of the Antwerp, Belgium–based grading lab.

“Shareholders believe IGI is [poised] to enter a new growth phase and are currently reviewing candidate investors to further grow the company vision,” Lorie tells JCK.

He adds that IGI will remain an independent company run by the CEO and its managers.

China’s Fosun Group owns 80% of the lab, through its subsidiary Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart Co., and Lorie and his family own the other 20%.

Fosun Group bought its majority stake in IGI in 2018 for $108.8 million

The Bloomberg report, which quoted unnamed sources, said that Fosun had valued the lab at 200 million euros ($215 million). It reported that Fosun had recruited Deutsche Bank for help with the sales process.

Fosun, one of China’s largest non-state-owned conglomerates, has already announced plans to sell $11 billion in noncore assets over the next year.

Lorie says the change is happening after IGI experienced several “fruitful years of growth.”

He adds: “This possible change is, for the entire IGI team, a very exciting challenge, and as CEO I’m convinced we will achieve even better results in the future.”

Founded in 1975, IGI currently has more than 25 locations throughout the world.

This has been a period of unusual business activity in the world of gem grading labs. On Jan. 11, Israeli equipment maker Sarine Technologies announced it had signed a nonbinding agreement to purchase a majority share in the Gem Certification & Assurance Lab (GCAL). And last year, the American Gem Society closed its 26-year-old diamond grading lab. Its operations were folded into those of its longtime rival, the Gemological Institute of America.

Shanghai Yuyuan Tourist Mart Co. did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

Photo courtesy of International Gemological Institute

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By: Rob Bates

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