Blue Nile, the jewelry industry’s largest e-tailer, has sold to an investment group managed by Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street LLC after announcing falling sales and profits. The deal will end the twelve year stint as a public company and is not expected to be completed until next year. The board of directors have given the approval on the all-cash deal. The company has a 30 day “go shop” period in which they can actively look for and accept other offers. Shareholders can expect to receive $40.75 a share which is a 30 percent increase over the November 4th closing price.
Headquarters for the Blue Nile are currently located in Seattle and it is expected they will remain there. Future plans for the giant e-tailer are murky. Both the company and investors declined to comment on the deal and a conference call was canceled. “Blue Nile is a unique business with a strong platform in an industry that is rapidly evolving and migrating online. We are excited to work alongside Blue Nile Management and Bain Capital to execute the company’s strategy,” said Howard Shainker, managing partner at Bow Street, in a statement to the press.
Mark Vadon, former chairman, purchased five percent of the company last June and stands to benefit greatly from the deal. However, one shareholder law firm has launched an investigation into the deal. It is not uncommon for these types of deals to catch the attention of shareholder law firms.
News of the deal comes as the company announced both falling sales and profits for the financial third quarter. Net sales fell 4.3 percent to $105.1 million. Net income fell from $2million in the prior year to $1.3 million. U.S. engagement ring sales, a core product of Blue Nile, fell 8.5 percent to $59.5 million. However, non-engagement rings sales were up 1.2 percent to $25.3 million.