Singapore state investor Temasek Holdings is considering investing $100 million in Indian jewellers BlueStone for a 20% share, claimed a report by the news agency Reuters citing information from two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.
According to one of the people, who declined to be identified because the topic is private, the investment would value Bengaluru-based BlueStone, which is also funded by venture capital firm Accel and Indian industrialist Ratan Tata, at close to $500 million.
The proposed transaction might bolster BlueStone’s intentions to rapidly expand in India, the world’s second-largest jewellery consumer after China, as demand spikes during the pandemic.
The jewellers has previously stated that it intends to add 300 outlets by 2024. According to its website, it presently has over 150 outlets.
BlueStone works in a market dominated by thousands of small and large local independent jewellery stores, as well as branded outlets such as Titan Company-owned Tanishq and CaratLane, as well as Kalyan Jewellers.
Unlike many conventional jewellers, companies such as BlueStone and CaratLane sell online.
While Temasek’s interest in Bluestone has previously been revealed, Reuters is the first to report on the investment amount, potential valuation, and other financial specifics of the potential deal.
According to one of the individuals, Temasek is conducting due diligence on the sale and a deal may be reached as early as July-September if talks are successful.
BlueStone CEO Gaurav Kushwaha did not react promptly to a request for comment from Reuters, while Temasek declined to comment.
Temasek has been investing $1 billion in India yearly for the past six years, and its underlying exposure to India is $16 billion, or more than 5% of Temasek’s worldwide $297 billion portfolio, according to its India head Ravi Lambah, who spoke to the Economic Times last month.
The negotiations also take place at a time when many Indian firms are struggling to attract new capital, causing them to postpone IPOs and lay off employees as investors question their exorbitant valuations. According to analytics firm CB Insights, startups raised only $2 billion in the first quarter of 2023, a 75% decrease from the same period last year.
(Adapted from Reuters.com)