By Michelle Graff
Seattle--Blue Nile announced Monday that is has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC.

Under the terms of the proposed all-cash deal, Bain and Bow will acquire all outstanding shares of the online retailer’s common stock for $500 million.
Stockholders will receive $40.75 per share, a premium of 34 percent over Blue Nile’s Nov. 4 closing price.

Blue Nile, which trades on NASDAQ as NILE, will become a private company, with its headquarters staying in Seattle.

The transaction is expected to close in the first calendar quarter of 2017, though the e-tailer does have a 30-day “go-shop” period in which it can solicit acquisition proposals from other companies.

Monday morning’s news release on the acquisition did not provide any details on possible changes in executive management.

National Jeweler will follow up with a more in-depth story on the acquisition in Tuesday’s daily newsletter.

News of Blue Nile’s pending sale came as the e-tailer, which is struggling to compete with other online jewelry sellers and the improved websites of brick-and-mortar retailers, announced another quarter of weak sales.

Net sales in the third quarter ended Oct. 2 were down 4 percent year-over-year to $105.1 million while net income slipped from $2.0 million to $1.3 million.

U.S. engagement ring sales fell 9 percent year-over-year in the period to $59.5 million, while sales of non-engagement jewelry in the United States rose 1 percent to $25.3 million.

International sales totaled $20.3 million, a 2 percent increase compared with the third quarter 2015.

Gross profit for the quarter totaled $20.6 million, or 19.6 percent of net sales, compared with $21.2 million, or 19.3 percent of net sales, in the third quarter 2015.

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