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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Elsevier acquires certain book assets of Gulf Publishing Company

elsevierElsevier has acquired certain book assets of Gulf Publishing Company. The portfolio of 32 books includes petroleum engineering titles in drilling, pipeline, oil and gas, and safety.

The GPC titles are for professionals in upstream oil and gas engineering and cover drilling, recovery methods, reservoir management, processing, and pipeline transmission. They include the Gulf Drilling Series, which emphasizes current techniques and technologies in the drilling industry; handbooks in oil and natural gas engineering; books on enhanced and non-conventional recovery techniques, including the high interest area of hydraulic fracturing (fracking); and data handbooks useful as reference sources for researchers and applied engineers working with the physical and chemical properties of hydrocarbons.

“The acquisition of the Gulf titles expands Elsevier’s petroleum engineering offering, positioning Elsevier as the leading book publisher for the oil and gas industry,” said Suzanne BeDell, Managing Director, Science & Technology Books, Elsevier. “The titles are of high-quality and complement our existing energy and fuel list, which is a benefit for corporate and academic customers using our ScienceDirect platform.”

All of the GPC books will be available through the Elsevier Store and on ScienceDirect, a full-text scientific database offering journal articles and book chapters from more than 2,500 peer-reviewed journals and more than 11,000 books. Many of the titles are also available on Knovel, a web-based application integrating technical information with analytical and search tools to deliver answers engineers can trust.

The Netherlands, Amsterdam & USA, Waltham, MA

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ICIS acquires carbon market analytics specialist Tschach Solutions GmbH

icisICIS, a global provider of energy market information and a division of Reed Business Information, is to acquire Tschach Solutions GmbH, a specialist carbon market analytics company based in Karlsruhe, Germany. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Tschach

Tschach Solutions, founded in 2010, offers a comprehensive portfolio of data, information and analytics products for the carbon market.Products include short and long-term price forecasts, which combine analysis of market fundamentals, policy and trading behaviour in the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the global Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).  Tschach Solutions produces a range of data, delivered through online, written report and consulting propositions.

“Tschach Solutions is a fast growing business whose approach to market analysis has proved highly effective. This acquisition increases ICIS capability in short and long-term energy market analysis,” said Christopher Flook, Managing Director of ICIS. “Our collective capabilities will provide customers with unique insights”.

Dr Ingo Tschach, Managing Director of Tschach Solutions added that “ICIS’ strong position across the energy information market, coupled with its extensive sales and marketing capability, provides the opportunity to accelerate our plans for future growth. As part of ICIS, we are better positioned to capitalise on the increasing need for carbon market data and analysis”.

UK, Sutton, Surrey & Germany, Karlsruhe

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Canadian PE acquires Nielsen’s exhibition unit

nielsenPrivate equity firm Onex Corporation is to acquire Nielsen Expositions from the media measurement and retail information group, Nielsen. Onex are paying $950 million in cash. Nielsen Expositions is a leading operator of large, business-to-business trade shows in the United States and Nielsen’s last non-core business. 

For the year ended December 31, 2012, Nielsen Expositions generated revenues of approximately $183 million, adjusted EBITDA of $97 million and incurred capital expenditures of $2 million on a stand-alone basis, so Onex are paying around 9.8 times last year’s EBITDA.

Onex Partners III, Onex’ $4.7 billion private equity fund, will make an equity investment of approximately $350 million, of which Onex’ share is approximately $85 million as a Limited Partner in the Fund. The transaction is anticipated to close in the second quarter.

Based in San Juan Capistrano, California, Nielsen Expositions produces around 65 business-to-business tradeshows and conference events each year across nine diversified end-markets, including general merchandise, sports, hospitality and retail design, jewelry, and photography. Nielsen Expositions has approximately 240 employees and operates out of four U.S. offices.

“Nielsen Expositions’ strength in the U.S. business-to-business tradeshow industry is evidenced by its high renewal rates, long-standing exhibitor relationships, and the brand strength of the underlying shows,” said Kosty Gilis, an Onex Managing Director. “This is a great opportunity to partner with David and his management team to build on the company’s market leadership position through continued expansion of its existing shows as well as select acquisitions.”

Onex has approximately $15 billion of assets under management, including $5 billion of proprietary capital, in private equity, credit securities and real estate.

Canada, Toronto & USA, San Juan Capistrano, CA & New York. NY

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Morningstar Acquires Remaining Ownership Interest in Morningstar Sweden

morningstarMorningstar has acquired its remaining ownership interest in Morningstar Sweden AB from Stadsporten Citygate AB and two private investors.

Morningstar, through one of its subsidiaries, acquired its remaining 76 percent ownership stake for approximately U.S. $13 million, or approximately SEK 87 million, subject to post-closing adjustments.

Fondstar AB, a subsidiary of Citygate, licensed Morningstar’s methodology and began providing ratings for funds in 1998.Morningstar Europe B.V . and Citygate established a joint venture in 2001, formally incorporating Morningstar Sweden AB. Morningstar’s main offerings in Sweden include Morningstar Direct, Morningstar Data, Integrated Web Tools, and Morningstar.se, an investment information website for individual investors that provides fund and ETF data, portfolio tools, and market analysis.

“Together with Citygate and the local management team, we’ve been supplying investment data and other research tools to Swedish investors for more than a decade,” said Bevin Desmond, president of international operations for Morningstar. “We’re pleased to fully integrate Morningstar Sweden into our Nordic operations, providing seamless access to our offerings and better serving clients across the region.”

Morningstar has 25 employees based in Stockholm. George Sallfeldt, chief executive officer, will continue to lead the company. Morningstar serves more than 200 clients in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland and provides complete data on more than 2,000 domiciled mutual funds and 20,000 funds registered for sale in the local markets. Morningstar also has data coverage on all listed stocks and several other investment offerings in the Nordic region.

USA, Chicago, IL & Sweden, Stockholm

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