Grading

Chinese Conglomerate Acquires the International Gemological Institute

GradingSep 13, 2018

Chinese Conglomerate Acquires the International Gemological Institute

Fosun, which made a bid for Gemfields last year, now owns an 80 percent stake in the diamond grading lab.

Chinese conglomerate Fosun now owns 80 percent of diamond grading lab International Gemological Institute.

Belgium—Chinese international conglomerate and investment company Fosun will acquire an 80 percent stake in the International Gemological Institute.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. It is being done through Yuyuan Inc., Fosun’s holding company for the consumer sector.

Belgium-headquartered diamond grading lab and gem training center IGI has been managed by family stakeholders since its establishment in 1975.

It claims to be the first international gem grading organization to expand globally and, in particular, to enter India. It currently operates 23 laboratories and schools around the world.

The Lorie family will retain 20 percent of the company.

Roland Lorie has managed the business with his late father and lab co-founder, Marcel Lorie, as well as co-CEOs Herman and Marc Brauner and Jerry Ehrenwald. He will remain with the company after the deal closes, helping develop and implement global growth strategies.

Ehrenwald also will stay on at this time.

Herman Brauner left his role with IGI a few years ago, according to the lab. Marc Brauner, meanwhile, will resign, along with his eldest son, Youry.

Brauner, son of IGI co-founder Herman “Zwi” Brauner, joined the lab after four years as a diamond polisher and four years of gem trading. A certified gemologist, he has been driving the business’ strategic initiatives across the world over the past 15 years as well as presiding over its development in the Asia-Pacific region.

“At a time of industry challenges, partnering with a well-funded and visionary group such as Fosun can be considered the crowning achievement of my career with IGI, and will uniquely position IGI for a bright future,” he said. “I will always fondly remember my years of service in the family enterprise; it grew into a global leader in its field while always remaining, both for its clients and employees, a human-focused business where relationships mattered.”

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.

The company has shown interest in the gem and jewelry trade before.

Last year, Fosun made a bid for Gemfields while the colored gemstone miner’s biggest stakeholder, Pallinghurst, also was making a play for full control of it.

Fosun also is a stakeholder in Greek jewelry company Folli Follie.

“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 Fosun Executive Director and co-President Xu Xiaoliang.

“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.”
Brecken Branstratoris the senior editor, gemstones at National Jeweler, covering sourcing, pricing and other developments in the colored stone sector.

The Latest

Policies & IssuesMay 14, 2021
Petra Reaches $6M Settlement Amid Claims of Human Rights Abuses

A report by a nonprofit documented an alleged seven deaths and 41 assaults on artisanal miners at the Williamson mine in Tanzania.

AuctionsMay 14, 2021
Phillips’ New Selling Exhibition Celebrates Female Designers

It features pieces from the likes of Solange Azagury-Partridge, Suzanne Belperron, Marina B, and Silvia Furmanovich.

Recorded WebinarsMay 14, 2021
Watch: Dissecting the Vintage Watch Craze

Watchfinder & Co. US Country Manager Edouard Caumon talks the timepieces retaining value and current marketplace trends.

Brought to you by
How to Engage and Sell to Millennials

Millennials were once feared in the diamond industry, but now this younger generation has become today’s largest diamond buying demographic.

TrendsMay 14, 2021
Piece of the Week: Deirdre Featherstone’s Amber Drop Earrings

They’re perfect for welcoming “Springtime in New York.”

Weekly QuizMay 14, 2021
This Week's Quiz
Test your knowledge of jewelry news from the week of May 10-14, 2021.
Take the Quiz
AuctionsMay 13, 2021
The 100-Carat ‘Spectacle’ Diamond Sells for $14M

It sold at the low end of its estimated range at Christie’s jewelry auction in Geneva.

SourcingMay 13, 2021
Fura Gems Launches Membership-Based Marketing Program

The Fura Marketing Council will offer advertising materials, sales training, product promotion initiatives, business consulting, and more.

Brought to you by
A New Golden Age

Gold has had its share of ups and downs over the last 5 decades. Here’s why the metal is having another big comeback.

MajorsMay 13, 2021
Sotheby’s Opens ‘The Emporium’ Retail Store in New York

The company celebrated its debut by collaborating with beauty entrepreneur Gucci Westman for a special edit of luxury items.

×