Blue Nile to Go Private in $500M Deal
Online jewelry retailer Blue Nile said earlier today that it has agreed to be taken private by an investor group that includes Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street for about $500 million in cash. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017, but under the terms of the merger agreement, Blue Nile may seek other bids over the next 30 days. Blue Nile said it will continue to be headquartered in Seattle after the deal closes.
Total Retail's Take: This should be good news for both parties. First, Blue Nile could use the cash. Despite being one of the first online jewelers in the space, Blue Nile has been facing increased competition both from traditional jewelers investing more in their online stores and from newer online jewelry startups. Blue Nile's third quarter earnings also fell to $1.29 million vs. $2 million for the year prior. Second, the private equity investors should be happy because they're acquiring a true disruptor in a growing segment of the jewelry industry. Seems like a win-win.
Melissa Campanelli is Editor-in-Chief of Total Retail. She is an industry veteran, having covered all aspects of retail, tech, digital, e-commerce, and marketing over the past 20 years. Melissa is also the co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle.