The major talk of the town in the financial sector is the acquisition progress of UK based financial news and data service provider Acuris. There have been various offers from a wide range of buyers since, BC partners – a private equity firm the owner of Acuris announced the sale. Acuris was originally a part of Pearson Education – a UK based publishing and assessment service provider with a focus on providing service to students and education institutions such as schools, colleges, research institutions. Acuris was originally acquired by BC partners from Pearson in 2013 in a deal worth 382 million British Pounds. Owing to nature of Acuris’s products which focus on news and analytics on the global credit market, infrastructure services for financial and trading sector and risk and compliance management it had attracted several big names in the global market for its sale.
There were bidders from various sectors such as rating agencies, news providers and private investment firms. However, the most notable companies which bid for Acuris aside from Ion include Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and rating firm Moody’s. There has been an increased demand for financial data services in the global market off late. Given the wide array of products and services offered covered by Acuris such as Mergermarket and Debtwire, the company’s value skyrocketed in the market. However, there were those few popular brands such as rating agency Fitch and Moody’s which dropped out of the auction because they felt that the price expectations from Acuris were way too high. There were also reports that several other private equity groups dropped their interest in the sale soon after bidding started as they feared a lack of synergy between Acuris’s products and their own compared to specialist financial data provider such as Ion group.
Since its sale to BC partners, Acuris has seen steady growth in their earnings and revenues. According to reports published by the company, their pre-tax profit in 2015 was 15.8 million British Pounds, and the profits continued to rise for the next two years with 22 million British Pounds in 2016 and 23 million British Pounds in 2017 respectively. At the end of the bid, Dublin based Ion group had managed to win the deal to acquire Acuris from BC partners, and the deal is expected to be worth more than 1 billion British Pounds. However, according to reports published by news website Finextra, the 1 Billion Pound price tag is deemed to be a reflection of the future value of Acuris given the firm’s wide portfolio of financial trading software and specialist market data. Ion group is known widely in the market as a specialist that deals with financial data and software. The company has a reputation for being highly acquisitive in nature given their business deals in the past which include the purchase of trading software provider Fidessa for 1.5 billion British Pounds in 2018 and other similar companies such as Pat Systems, Wall Street Systems, Ffastfill, and Rolfe & Nolan.
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