A giant Singaporean state-backed fund is close to snapping up a big stake in Mergermarket Group in a deal that will value the subscription-based data provider at around £1bn.
Sky News has learnt that the Government Investment Corporation (GIC) of Singapore is in advanced talks with BC Partners, the buyout firm which has owned Mergermarket since 2014, about the purchase of roughly 30% of the company.
The transaction, which is likely to be signed in the next few days, will underline the growing value of proprietary financial news and data providers whose subscription-based models attract reliable recurring revenues.
If completed, it will be the latest in a string of big investments in UK-based companies by GIC, which owns stakes in assets as diverse as the RAC breakdown recovery service and a portfolio of student accommodation in cities including Bristol, Edinburgh and London.
Mergermarket, which was founded in 1999, has changed hands several times during its existence although the latest deal will not result in a change of control.
One source close to the deal with GIC said it would return more than double BC’s original investing with the current owner retaining more than 60% of Mergermarket’s shares.
The company’s previous majority shareholder was Pearson, which saw attractive synergies between it and the Financial Times, the newspaper it owned at the time.
Since acquiring Mergermarket for just over £380m, BC has backed the acquisition of other financial data businesses to create a broader information provider.
Earlier this year, the company said it would rebrand under the name Acuris in order to reflect the fact that providing news and data on corporate mergers is now only one strand of its activities.
Mergermarket’s other publications include Debtwire, which reported this week that a Canadian pension fund was interested in buying a stake in the company.
BC declined to comment on Friday.