Fosun International, through its holding company Yuyuan Shares, has announced that it plans to invest US$108.8 million to acquire an 80% stake in the diamond, gemstones and jewelry certification and appraisal lab, the International Gemological Institute (IGI). Headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, IGI is a world-renowned gemological training and diamond appraisal organization, known to be the world's largest independent gem certification and appraisal institute for diamonds, colored gemstones, and jewelry. Operating 23 laboratories and offices around the world, IGI has formed a global distribution of diamond, gemstone and jewelry professional appraisal and gemological training courses under the promotion of family shareholders, serving a wide range of partners in the diamond-related field, including well-known diamond retailers.
Publicly-held Fosun is one of China’s biggest conglomerates, with investments in a wide range of companies and consumer brands, including Club Med and Tsingtao Brewery. Fosun's investment through Yuyan Shares will achieve a strategic layout of the global diamond industry chain, better access to diamond expertise and industry resources. “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,” said Fosun executive director and president Xu Xiaoliang in a statement. The Lorie family, which has been operating the IGI business for more than 40 years, will continue to retain a 20% interest, and Roland Lorie will continue to serve as CEO of IGI. Lorie said in a statement, “the investment from Yuyuan of Fosu n will significantly accelerate our core business, offering and presenting many new opportunities all over the globe.” Once the transaction is finished, Marc Brauner, who has served as co-CEO, will step down from the company, along with son Youry.