Private equity firm Blackstone Inc. announced on Sunday that it has fully acquired the jewelry certification firm International Gemological Institute (IGI). It cost Blackstone in the range of $530 million to purchase IGI from China’s Fosun and the company’s founding family.
Founded in 1975, IGI is the largest independent geological institute worldwide. Prior to the acquisition, Fosun owned 80% of the company while the remaining 20% of the company was owned by the Lorie family. The majority of the company’s profits and revenues come from India.
Since being founded by Marcel Lorie, IGI has established 29 laboratories and 18 schools of gemology spanning 10 countries, with the majority of its labs being located in India.
“IGI has spearheaded the certification of natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds, and colored 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 of the company following the purchase.