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

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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Certain Acquires Gather Digital, Investing in the Next Generation of Mobile Event Applications

CertainCertain, the leader in enterprise event automation, today announced it has acquired Gather Digital, a mobile event application suite for enterprises, associations and educational institutions. With this acquisition, Certain is further strengthening its mobile development and data integration capabilities, taking advantage of the experience that Gather Digital’s extended team brings and offering customers unprecedented insight into the mobile journey to determine the event attendee’s true sentiments. The financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Gather Digital creates native and mobile web event applications with integrated personalized agendas, event content, live polling, surveys, continuing education credits, group meetings, lead retrieval and gamification. Gather Digital’s engagement apps allow the company’s clients to leverage mobile as a channel to capture intent throughout events, and build deeper relationships with their event attendees. Their customers include five of the world’s largest financial services companies, the nation’s leading pharmaceutical/ life science organization and premier technology and Fortune 1000 corporations. With the acquisition, Certain will continue to grow its U.S. presence and tap the North Carolina Research Triangle’s burgeoning tech hotbed for sales, marketing and product talent.

“Certain is focused on enabling our customers to gather the most relevant data from event attendees to drive better business results from events,” said Peter Micciche, CEO of Certain. “By acquiring Gather Digital and the impressive mobile capabilities the team has developed, we’re continuing to invest in our data strategy – and the people at the forefront of delivering innovative technology for world class enterprises.”

USA, San Francisco, CA & Chapel Hill, NC

GlobalData acquires MEED Media from Ascential for £17.5M

GlobalDataGlobalData PLC has announced the acquisition of MEED Media FZ LLC  from Ascential PLC for a cash consideration of $17.5 million. MEED, formerly known as the Middle East Economist Digest, provides premium business information content with an industry focus on infrastructure and projects in the Middle East. The business services its growing client base principally through annual subscription contracts.

As reported on Fusion DigiNet in January 2016, GlobalData Holding Limited, a company then owned by Mike Danson and Wayne Lloyd, was acquired by Progressive Digital Media Group Plc. Mike Danson is Executive Chairman of Progressive Digital Media Group.

Commenting on the acquisition Bernard Cragg, Executive Chairman of GlobalData, said: “MEED gives the Group the opportunity to further expand into a key region and adds an additional industry vertical to our offering whilst maintaining our disciplined investment criteria of premium proprietary content and strong renewable subscription based revenues.”

UK, London & UAE, Dubai

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Electra Partners to acquire UBM’s Data Services businesses

electraPrivate equity business Electra Partners has made a binding offer to acquire a portfolio of UBM’s Data Services (Delta) businesses for £160 million. Delta represents the bulk of UBM’s Data Services segment and includes its Health, Technology and IP, Trade & Transport, and Paper business units. Operating in 28 countries worldwide, the businesses provide data and information products which professionals use to support their decision-making and day-to-day business activities.

In 2012, the businesses generated revenue of £179.3m (£190.0m in 2011) and adjusted operating profit of £27.4m (£27.7m in 2011). As at 30 June 2012 the businesses had gross assets of £295.5m.

Electra Private Equity PLC and the Electra Partners Club 2007 LP will invest approximately £127 million jointly. That is, £114 million and £13 million respectively at completion.

UBM

Upon completion, the cash consideration of approximately £100m (net of working capital adjustments) will be used to repay bank debt. The vendor loan note, which will be held at amortised cost, will carry a 6% PIK coupon and has a final maturity of six years.

Commenting on the offer, Alex Fortescue, Chief Investment Partner at Electra Partners, said: “UBM’s Data Services businesses are a robust and diverse portfolio of businesses offering mission critical data products to users across five continents and five vertical segments. We are excited by the opportunities to develop these businesses and deliver value growth.”

UK, London

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UBM plc will issue its Full Year results on 1st March 2013 and host an Investor

Presentation, at the London Stock Exchange, at 11am that morning.