Report: Blackstone to Buy IGI for Up to $550M
The deal could be signed as early as this weekend, according to a report by The Economic Times.
Earlier this year, IGI CEO Roland Lorie confirmed reports that Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. was considering selling its stake in IGI.
Fosun acquired an 80 percent stake in the business in 2018, while the remaining 20 percent stayed with its founders, the Belgium-based Lorie family.
The family founded IGI in Antwerp in 1975. It now operates 29 grading labs and 18 gemology schools across 10 countries.
Blackstone is expected to sign a binding agreement with Fosun, the Lorie family and IGI’s other shareholders as early as this weekend, according to The Economic Times. IGI is valued at $500 million to $550 million.
IGI and Blackstone declined to comment on the report.
Fosun has been cutting costs recently in an effort to reduce its debt, noted the report.
The Chinese conglomerate has $36 billion in debt, and the company told analysts last fall it was looking to sell $11 billion in assets to help pay it down.
The news follows other recent mergers and acquisitions among the industry’s grading labs.
Earlier this month, Israel-based equipment and technology company Sarine completed its acquisition of a majority stake in the Gem Certification and Assurance Laboratory (GCAL), founded by Don and Pamela Palmieri in 2001.
In October 2022, the American Gem Society announced it would close AGS Laboratories at the end of 2022 and merge its operations with the Gemological Institute of America.
Editor's Note: This story has been updated post-publication to reflect the current number of grading labs and gemology schools operated by IGI.
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