Friday 18 October 2019

Fintech Ion to buy €1.4bn finance news firm

Interest: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was among potential suitors for the business
Interest: Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp was among potential suitors for the business
Acuris was an FT subsidiary

Vinjeru Mkandawire and Anjuli Davies

Irish financial technology investor Ion Group is set to win the auction for the owner of financial data providers Mergermarket and Debtwire in a deal that could fetch as much as £1.2bn (€1.4bn).

Private equity group BC Partners is expected to announce the sale of Acuris, formerly known as the Mergermarket Group, imminently, City sources told the 'Telegraph'.

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The sale attracted interest from the ratings agencies, Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and other buyout funds.

Acuris, a former subsidiary of the 'Financial Times', was bought by BC Partners in 2014 for £382m from Pearson.

Since changing hands, the firm, whose suite of news and research products is used by fund managers, investment bankers and M&A lawyers around the world, has bought several other news outlets including Unquote, a private equity publication.

In 2017, it received a 30pc equity investment from Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC, which valued it at more than £1bn. That same year Ion bought a controlling stake in Dealogic, which also provides financial data and content.

A purchase of Acuris could be seen as an integral part of the development of its content strategy.

Mergermarket founders Caspar Hobbs, Charlie Welsh and Gawn Rowan Hamilton set up the business in 1991 to give investors a heads-up on possible deals. They sold it in 2006 for £101m to Pearson, whose media empire at the time included the 'Financial Times'.

© Daily Telegraph, London

Irish Independent

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