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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Pearson to sell 50% stake in FTSE to the London Stock Exchange for £450 million

Pearson has agreed to sell its 50% stake in FTSE International Limited to the London Stock Exchange Group for £450 million in cash.

FTSE is a world-leader in the creation and management of more than 200,000 equity, bond and alternative asset class indices. With offices in London, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Madrid, Milan, Mumbai, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Sydney and Tokyo, FTSE works with partners and clients in 80 countries worldwide.

Marjorie Scardino, Pearson’s chief executive, said: “FTSE is a bellwether of global financial markets and a world-class business. We have enjoyed supporting the company’s excellent and highly professional team to build the business. Proud as we are of that long association, FTSE’s strategy is different from our own. We wish it every success as we continue to build our digital business information services around the Financial Times.”

Pearson and London Stock Exchange Group currently each own 50% of FTSE. Under the terms of the agreement, London Stock Exchange Group will acquire from Pearson the 50% of FTSE that it does not own and continue to use the FTSE name. The transaction is expected to close by the first quarter of 2012.

In 2010, FTSE reported total revenues of £98.5 million and total EBITDA of £40 million. At 31 December 2010, FTSE had gross assets of £100.8m.

Pearson expects FTSE to make a total post-tax contribution to Pearson’s adjusted earnings of approximately £18 million or 2.2p per share in 2011.

The transaction follows the sale of Pearson’s stake in Interactive Data last year for $2bn. It marks Pearson’s exit from companies that are primarily providers of financial data and strengthens the FT Group’s focus on global business news, analysis and intelligence, increasingly delivered through subscription models and digital channels.

Pearson intends to use the proceeds of the sale to support and accelerate its strategy, investing in its businesses both organically and through acquisitions of companies with complementary content, technology and geographic exposure. In recent years Pearson’s organic investments have enabled it to gain share in many of its markets. The company has also made a series of bolt-on acquisitions (including vocational training companies in the UK, global business intelligence through Mergermarket, universities in South Africa, online learning businesses in North America, language schools in China and school systems in Brazil) which have rapidly enhanced Pearson’s earnings and return on invested capital.

UK, London

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