Blackstone eyes $300 million IPO of India diamond certification firm, sources say

By Scott Murdoch and M. Sriram

SYDNEY/MUMBAI (Reuters) – Blackstone is exploring elevating $300 million through an India IPO of the Worldwide Gemological Institute (IGI), its gemstone certification agency for which it expects a $1.5 billion valuation, three folks conversant in the matter stated.

Blackstone acquired IGI for $570 million in Could 2023 from Chinese language conglomerate Fosun and the enterprise’s founding Lorie household. IGI has most of its enterprise in India and describes itself because the world’s largest impartial lab for testing and grading diamonds and different gem stones and jewellery.

Blackstone has appointed funding banks Morgan Stanley and India’s Kotak to steer the IPO deal, two sources added.

Blackstone and Morgan Stanley declined to remark whereas IGI and Kotak didn’t reply queries looking for remark.

Whereas based in Belgium 50 years in the past, the vast majority of IGI’s income and income come from India right this moment, the place it has most of its labs and gives diamond screening, sorting and educational programs.

With the IPO, IGI hopes to capitalise on the expansion of lab-grown diamonds in India, the second supply stated. These labs make jewels that look similar to pure diamonds however are inexpensive. India’s federal funds final 12 months reduce taxes on manufacture of lab diamonds in a bid to spice up the sector.

Plans to checklist IGI are within the early levels and will change, the sources stated.

India’s jewellery market was valued at $78 billion in 2021 and is a profitable one for gamers like IGI. Whereas a lot of the jewels made are exported, gold – traditionally dominant within the nation – is slowly giving method to diamonds amongst some youthful customers.

Typically non-public fairness corporations often look to checklist corporations 5 years or so after funding, and Blackstone is eager to reap the benefits of India’s sizzling IPO market which is the busiest in Asia up to now this 12 months, two of the sources added.

India has emerged because the second busiest market on the planet for fairness capital market (ECM) offers after america.

Indian corporations raised $2.3 billion within the first quarter of 2024 in IPOs, in keeping with LSEG knowledge, up greater than 12 instances the $166.5 million raised in the identical interval final 12 months, LSEG knowledge confirmed.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney and M. Sriram in Mumbai, modifying by Aditya Kalra and Chizu Nomiyama)

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