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Blue Nile to Go Public with $873M Valuation

Jun 12, 2022 10:26 AM   By Rapaport News
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 E-commerce jeweler Blue Nile is planning to list on the Nasdaq exchange, wooing investors with a projected compound annual growth rate of 8% to 17% over the next two years.

The listing will be through a merger with Mudrick Capital, a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC), with the new entity continuing to operate under the Blue Nile label, the firms announced Friday in a filing with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The transaction will value the company at $873 million.

“Over the past two-and-a-half years we have successfully transformed and elevated Blue Nile as a thriving fine-jewelry and lifestyle brand, and we are excited about the growth opportunities that lie ahead,” Blue Nile CEO Sean Kell said. “We have only scratched the surface of an estimated $320 billion global fine-jewelry market that has been slow to move online and remains fragmented. As we look to execute our growth strategy, now is the right time to become a public company.”

Blue Nile saw revenue rise 21% to $566 million in 2021, but it had a net loss of $40 million compared to a loss of $28.5 million the previous year, according to a presentation published on the SEC website. The decline was due to considerably higher operating expenses and cost of goods sold. Management expects revenue of between $581 million and $651 million this year and further growth to $661 million to $773 million in 2023.

Profitability will largely depend on whether macroeconomic pressure continues or normalizes in the second half of the year, affecting management’s ability to contain costs and cash flow, it said. The company had negative cash flow in 2021.

Blue Nile claims to have the largest selection of diamonds among its e-commerce jewelry retail peers, as it numbers more than 650,000 stones available for consumers. The company was previously listed on the Nasdaq but went private in 2016 when Bain Capital Private Equity and Bow Street acquired it for about $500 million. It had revenue in 2015 of $450 million, according to Rapaport records.

The transaction with Mudrick is scheduled to close early in the fourth quarter and is expected to generate approximately $450 million of capital before expenses, the companies said. The deal will also include $80 million of committed capital, $50 million of which has been pre-funded by existing investors, and an additional $50 million from Mudrick Capital, the statement read.

Kell, who was appointed CEO in August 2019, will remain in his position along with the current management team, the firms noted.

Image: A Blue Nile showroom in Oregon. (Blue Nile)
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Tags: Bain Capital Private Equity, Blue Nile, David Humphrey, diamonds, ipo, Jewelry, Mudrick Capital, Rapaport News, Sean Kell
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