Chinese conglomerate Fosun International Ltd. has acquired 80% of diamond grading lab International Gemological Institute (IGI).
The transaction was done through Yuyuan Inc., Fosun’s holding company for the consumer sector.
IGI, headquartered in Belgium and established in 1975, is a well-known gemological training and diamond grading organization, which has been managed by family stakeholders since its establishment.
Keeping it in the family, the Lorie family will retain 20% of the company, and current chief executive officer, Ronald Lorie will continue to manage the business and help develop and implement future global growth strategies. Roland is son of lab cofounder Marcel Lorie.
Chief executive officer of IGI, Roland Lorie, shares: “The diamond and gemstone industry is growing steadily and the interest of this large conglomerate to invest in IGI shows the confidence it has in our industry. As demand for certification increases, the investment from Yuyuan of Fosun will significantly accelerate our core business, offering and presenting many new opportunities all over the globe.
“By combining our resources, we are more equipped than ever to continue to provide consumers and retailers with the information and assurance they need to navigate their jewellery buying decisions.”
Fosun is one of China’s biggest investment and operating conglomerates, covering financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, consumer products and real estate, energy and mining. Its portfolio includes brand names such as Fidelidade, Tsingtao Brewery, Club Med, Liberty 28 Plaza in downtown Manhattan, and many more.
“We are very happy to start this partnership with IGI, which provides us a unique opportunity to work with the diamond community around the world,” says Xu Xiaoliang, executive director and co-President of Fosun, and also Chairman of Yuyuan Inc. “IGI has built great fundamentals and human capital over the years, with highly respected expertise and input from both the Lorie and Brauner families. We believe IGI is well positioned to bring its gemological knowledge and expertise to emerging markets, including China. We are happy to be part of the future growth of IGI at this exciting stage of the industry’s development.”
Having bought Fosun and IGI together, Marc Brauner has now resigned as co-CEO.
Following a career of 30 years with the group that spanned all the crucial highlights of its existence over the period, including the opening of its very successful Indian subsidiary, Marc Brauner will leave the group, along with his eldest son Youry, and pursue other interests.