diamond ring, blue nile

Blue Nile has officially gone private and been acquired for approximately $500 million by an investor group made up of Bain Capital Private Equity, Bow Street and Adama Partners.

The Seattle-based online diamond seller on Feb. 2 received investor approval of the deal, first announced in November.

Ryan Cotton, a managing director at Bain Capital, said Blue Nile had “a strong platform in an industry that is rapidly evolving and migrating online.”

He added that partnering with Adama, a venture capital firm focused on the jewelry industry, and Bow Street, a New York hedge fund, will help Blue Nile “continue to lead the transformation of the customer purchase experience in engagement rings and fine jewelry.”

The investor group paid $40.75 in cash for each Blue Nile share. Nasdaq trading of the company’s stock will be suspended.

Blue Nile was founded in 1999 by Doug Williams as a web site to sell diamonds. It went public in 2004 and promotes itself as a supplier of ethically-sourced and conflict-free diamonds.

Since 2015, the company has opened five web rooms in malls, which are essentially jewelry stores billed as providing a “superior online selection.”

Blue Nile president, chairman and chief executive officer Harvey Kanter said the company “has disrupted and transformed the way consumers shop for and purchase diamonds and fine jewelry by creating price transparency while simultaneously providing value to suppliers.

“As we enter the next phase of growth, Blue Nile will continue to expand our vision and focus on putting the customer first by reaching them the way they prefer to shop whether it’s a computer, mobile device or in one of our web rooms,” Kanter said.

When it revealed the go-private deal, Blue Nile said it planned to remain headquartered in Seattle.

The company reported lower sales and earnings for the third quarter, when net sales dropped 4.4 percent to $105.1 million and net income fell 35 percent to $1.3 million.

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