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Rating:FactSet Sells Market Metrics For Up to $175MM Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Monday, May 23, 2016

FactSet Sells Market Metrics For Up to $175MM

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

The parent of another asset management industry data shop will shell out up to $175 million to buy Market Metrics from FactSet.

Mark Manassee
Market Metrics
Asset International and FactSet confirm that AI is buying Market Metrics and Matrix Solutions (a similar business based in the United Kingdom). The price tag is about $165 million up front, plus a $10-million earnout. The deal is expected to close in FactSet's fiscal Q4 2016, which ends on August 31.

AI is the parent of Strategic Insight and is backed by private equity firm Genstar.

RBC Capital Markets advised AI on the deal, while SunTrust Robinson Humphrey advised FactSet.

MFWire could not immediately reach Market Metrics president Mark Manassee, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey corporate and investment banking chief Mike Wheeler, or RBC Capital Markets managing director and financial technology chief Jason Guarandiano for comment on the deal.

Market Metrics and Matrix Solutions has about 150 employees combined, mostly in Boston and London. AI already has offices in both of those cities.

"We're bringing them all ... Everyone's coming over," Tony White, managing director at AI, tells MFWire. "We're on a trajectory to grow these businesses."

As for Market Metrics' leadership, though, "there may be one or two changes there" that AI will work through in the coming weeks, White adds.

Joel Mandelbaum, CEO of AI, calls the Market Metrics deal "a fantastic opportunity" to help him turn AI and its companies into "the go-to supplier for the asset management community."

"This is another major milestone in creating a dedicated enterprise to fully service the rapidly changing global investment management sector," states Tony Salewski, managing director of Genstar.

"Strategic Insight's the biggest business in the AI portfolio," White says, adding that Market Metrics has "the same rhythm" as Strategic Insight. "It was just fortuitous that this came up."

White describes the two businesses as having different clients within asset managers, with Strategic Insight working more with asset managers' product specialists while Market Metrics supports distribution and sales teams. And both firms have consortia of asset managers. Working in Market Metrics' space, White says, was "a natural direction for" AI, but building such a business "would take a lot longer."

"Our ambition is really clear," White says. "We want to be this one-stop-shop."

"This transaction is consistent with our long-term strategic direction and our commitment to delivering value to our shareholders," states Phil Snow, CEO of FactSet. "We appreciate the efforts of the dedicated employees who have grown Market Metrics and Matrix Solutions into industry leaders."

FactSet bought Market Metrics (Matrix Solutions was separate) for $55 million six years ago. At the time of that deal in 2010, the Market Metrics business had 25 employees and "annual subscriptions of $16 million."

As for the pending Market Metrics deal with AI, industry insiders have been whispering for months about FactSet shopping the business. Bloomberg reported back in January that FactSet was "exploring a sale of Market Metrics." One source familiar with the situation pointed both to private equity and to Broadridge (parent of Market Metrics competitor Access Data) as potential bidders. Word was that bidding had reached $175 million, and that Broadridge bid $150 million.

MFWire could not immediately reach Frank Polefrone, senior vice president at Broadridge's Access Data, for comment on the pending Market Metrics sale. 

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