Blackstone acquires International Gemological Institute

FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen outside the Blackstone Group headquarters in New York City

MUMBAI (Reuters) -Private equity company Blackstone Inc said it has fully acquired the jewellery certification firm International Gemological Institute (IGI) from China's Fosun and the company's founding family.

Blackstone bought IGI, whose majority revenue and profits come from India, for about $530 million, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on condition of anonymity.

A statement said Blackstone had purchased an 80% stake from Fosun and 20% from the Lorie family.

Blackstone declined to comment on the valuation.

In a statement later, Fosun said the total consideration of the disposal was $569.65 million.

Chairman Guo Guangchang said the disposal would "have a positive impact on the company's financial performance" and the deal would also enable the company to focus more resources on development strategies.

Founded nearly 50 years ago by the late Marcel Lorie, IGI has 29 laboratories and 18 schools of gemology in 10 countries. The majority of the laboratories are in India.

India's jewellery market was worth is $78.5 billion in the 2021 financial year and it is one of the world's biggest, though a significant portion is for export.

"IGI has spearheaded the certification of natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and coloured stones, becoming a global market leader and providing confidence to manufacturers, retailers, and consumers around the world," Mukesh Mehta, a senior managing director in Blackstone Private Equity Group, said.

(Reporting by M. Sriram and additional reporting by Donny Kwok in Hong Kong; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore and Barbara Lewis)