Warburg Pincus invests in Reorg Research

Warburg PincusWarburg Pincus has acquired a controlling stake in Reorg Research, an industry-leading provider of real-time news, commentary, and analysis on issues affecting the distressed debt, event-driven and leveraged finance markets. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Founded in 2013 by former distressed debt investor Kent Collier, Reorg leverages powerful proprietary technology to collect data in real-time and apply machine learning and natural language processing to filter the information, all in one easy-to-find place. The company also has a dedicated team of experts comprised of journalists, former lawyers and investment bankers that leverage Reorg’s proprietary technology to deliver industry-leading editorial content. Reorg currently has a suite of six SaaS-based products, each with a distinct value proposition, that a diverse and loyal global client base – including leading hedge funds, investment banks, law firms and financial advisors – uses to make better business and investment decisions.

This latest deal reflects heightened investor interest in providers of specialist content; the agreement follows Fitch Group’s purchase last week of Fulcrum Financial Data, a rival distressed-debt research firm whose publications include Covenant Review and LevFin Insights. In 2017, BC Partners sold a minority stake in Acuris, which publishes the trade publications Debtwire and Mergermarket, at a valuation of £1bn. Blackstone earlier this year bought a majority stake in Thomson Reuters Financial & Risk at a valuation of $20bn.

Kent Collier, the distressed-debt investor and blogger who launched Reorg in 2013, said, “Data is compounding at a geometric rate around the world and there is too much of it to be analysed by editorial talent alone”.

Chandler Reedy, Managing Director at Warburg Pincus, said, “Kent is a unique talent, and he and his team have built a highly differentiated business and technology platform with team of experts that synthesize and analyze real-time, mission-critical information highly sought by their customers. As the clear market leader with a proven growth model across multiple products and geographies, we believe Reorg is exceptionally well positioned for continued growth.”

USA, New York, NY

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Hg makes strategic investment in Financial Express

Hg Capital plcHg, the manager of HgCapital Trust plc, is to make a significant investment in Financial Express, a leading data, analytics and software vendor focussed on the UK and Australian retail investment funds markets. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed. HgCapital Trust plc will invest approximately £7.5 million in FE, with other institutional clients of Hg investing alongside the Company through the Mercury 2 Fund.

Based on the 30 April 2018 NAV, the company’s liquid resources available for future deployment, including all announced transactions, are estimated to be £145 million (20% of the 30 April 2018 pro forma NAV of £712.8 million). In addition, the company has access to an £80 million standby facility, which is currently undrawn. The investment will reduce the company’s outstanding commitments to invest in Hg transactions over the next four to five years to approximately £587 million.

Founded by Michael Holland and Craig Wilson, FE is a leading provider of investment data, research and software to the financial services industry in the UK and operates a proprietary database of complete retail funds data with global coverage and history, built up over 20 years. Trusted by investors, advisers, asset managers and platforms who use FE data, software and investment advice every day, FE is a leading player in supporting the UK fund industry.

The investment will be made from the Mercury 2 Fund. FE has a number of business characteristics that Hg looks for, including a strong position in the wealth / asset management software and data sector, a well-recognised brand, mission-critical products, and a strong management team led by Neil Bradford.

The investment comes on the back of significant expansion of FE’s global operations and product offering over the past few years, and another year of record growth for the company in 2017.

Sebastien Briens, Partner at Hg, said: ‘We have been following FE for a number of years, and have been impressed by the strength and depth of its data, products, team and vision. We are very pleased to partner with Michael, Craig and Neil in the next stage of growth for the business.’

Neil Bradford, CEO at FE, said: ‘Hg’s track record and experience in our sector means they are the perfect partner to continue FE’s growth strategy and international expansion ambitions. We look forward to working with the Hg team.’

Michael Holland, co founder of FE, said: ‘Data is at the foundation of everything we do and Hg has a deep understanding of the fund data space. I am confident that this partnership will hugely benefit our clients.’

UK, London

Hatched Media acquires fellow Australian independent FRANk Media

Hatched MediaMelbourne-based independent agency Hatched Media has announced the merger and acquisition of fellow independent FRANk Media. No details of the transaction were disclosed.

FRANk Media was established in 2000 and offers communications planning, content marketing, programmatic, strategy, media buying, CRM, EDM, research, customer insight, PR, SEM, SEO, social media strategy and management, social media advertising, social media training and workshops, reporting, analytics and media planning, negotiation and buying. Owned and run by industry veteran Martyn Thomas, FRANk has transitioned all staff and clients across to Hatched to bolster the overall agency offering under the one roof.

Hatched founder and owner Jack Byrne said he has long admired Thomas and the FRANk team’s approach to its clients’ business, “Not only will their experience and strong strategic offering across communications be a welcome addition to the current offering, but culturally we are naturally aligned due to the high value we place on our people and level of care to our clients, which has ensured a seamless transition as a merged entity thus far,” he said.

Hatched will be adding FRANk’s current client list, which includes American Tourister, High Sierra, IXL Home, Lifestyle Communities, Movember, Luna Park (Melbourne), Lipault Paris, Sub Zero & Wolf, St John Ambulance (Victoria and NSW) and Sumitomo Rubber to their current list of clients, which include Automotive Brands Group, Dairy Australia, Sensis (Yellow Pages and White Pages), Fernwood Fitness, Dennis Family Homes, Strike Bowling, Henley Homes, Village Cinemas, Hairhouse Warehouse, Boost Juice, Capi Sparkling, and CBUS Property.

Australia, Melbourne

Euromoney acquires European investment industry survey Extel

EuromoneyEuromoney Institutional Investor PLC, the international business information and events group, has acquired 100% of the business and assets of Extel from WeConvene. Extel will be integrated into Euromoney’s Institutional Investor Research business which is well known for its sell-side analyst and corporate IR performance research and rankings, and strengthens further Institutional Investor’s asset management offering. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Extel runs the annual independent survey of quality across the European equities investment community. The Extel Survey began in 1974 and in 2017 over 15,500 investment professionals cast 1.1 million votes across the investment industry, providing a huge dataset to help clients analyse and drive their market understanding.

The acquisition of Extel fits within Euromoney’s strategy of investing in its main themes, specifically asset management. Extel is deeply embedded in the equities investment community and its complementary data sets and highly valued analytics and insights will support the transition of Institutional Investor to a next generation 3.0 business model.

Will Rowlands-Rees, MD of Institutional Investor Research, said: “Although a small business, Extel has a strong reputation in the European market, and is highly complementary to our existing Institutional Investor Research offerings. By integrating these businesses, we will create a unique bulge bracket through domestic broker view of research product evaluation in the European market at a time of tremendous market change driven by MiFID II. I look forward to leveraging our shared expertise and knowledge, and partners in the investment community to build a stronger and broader set of capabilities across our portfolio of products to help with these challenges.”

UK, London

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Xchanging plc acquires spend analytics company Spikes Cavell

xchangingXchanging plc, a business process, procurement and technology services provider, is to acquire the spend analytics company Spikes Cavell Analytic Limited, for up to $11.5 million on a cash free, debt free basis. $6.75m will be paid on completion, and up to a further $4.75m will be payable over the next two years, subject to achieving operating performance targets.The Acquisition is expected to complete by the end of March 2015.

spikes cavellSCAL is a British company which provides spend analytics technology and services mainly to public sector institutions in the UK and higher education authorities in the USA, but also increasingly to the private sector.  Based in Newbury (UK) and Virginia (US) and with 35 employees, SCAL has around 60 lead customers, some of whom represent groups. SCAL had revenues of £1.8m for the year ended 31 March 2014.

Spend analytics is an important diagnostic tool for customer due diligence in determining spend savings and is frequently included within wider procurement engagements. Spend analytics also provides a way for measuring spend in order to manage supply chain risk and assist organisations in assessing their compliance with diversity programmes. SCAL is also pioneering analytics services that benchmark an organisation’s competitiveness against its peers.  

Ken Lever, Xchanging’s Chief Executive, commented: “Increasingly organisations are recognising the major savings that can be made by using technology to enhance their procurement strategies. Our procurement business went through a significant transformation in 2014, building on the impetus of the MM4 acquisition, made in late 2013, which brought a core technology platform. It also opened up the business to accelerated client acquisition by increasing the number of lower price point offerings. SCAL contributes to this strategy and further enhances our technology capabilities.”

UK, London & UK, Berkshire & USA, Virginia

Landis+Gyr to acquire utility analytics company GRIDiant Corporation

landisand gyrLandis+Gyr is acquiring GRIDiant Corporation, a utility analytics company focused on the electric distribution grid.  Advanced grid analytics enable utilities to extract business value from large data sets, as smart meters and other grid devices to provide in-depth information about their distribution networks. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

gridiant_logo1“We understand that utilities around the world want to continually improve their business operations,” said Andreas Umbach, Landis+Gyr’s President and CEO. “We believe the insights gained from analytic tools are essential ingredients in leveraging the value from smart grid infrastructure investments, and that these insights can promote operational efficiency throughout the distribution grid.”

USA, Atlanta, GA & Los Altos, CA