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S&P Global nears deal to buy research platform Visible Alpha

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Financial data company S&P Global is nearing a deal to buy research platform Visible Alpha for more than $500mn from a consortium of investment banks including Goldman Sachs, Jefferies and UBS, according to people familiar with the matter.

S&P, best known for its rating agency business and stock market indices, could announce a deal for Visible Alpha as soon as Tuesday, the people said. S&P declined to comment and Visible Alpha did not respond to a request for comment. 

New York-based Visible Alpha pools together investment research and financial models by sellside investment banks into aggregated data for asset managers.

It was founded in 2015 by Bank America, Citigroup, Jefferies, Morgan Stanley and UBS, and generated close to $100mn in revenue in 2023, through selling to buyside investors and corporate clients. About 200 financial firms contribute their data. 

Other investment banks including Goldman Sachs, BNP and Santander have also invested in Visible Alpha and the company has raised $68mn, according to data from PitchBook. 

For the investment banks, the sale would represent a successful exit for a business they had founded nine years ago to better monetise their research and data. 

As part of the acquisition, the banks have agreed contribution agreements through which they will continue to pool their research and financial models with Visible Alpha. 

For S&P, it is the latest deal to bolster its offering to compete with the likes of Bloomberg in the market for financial data. The deal will bolster its Capital IQ Pro platform and allow for forward financial modelling. 

S&P is three years on from completing the purchase of analytics group IHS Markit for $44bn and chief executive Doug Peterson told analysts earlier this month that the company was open to “tuck-in acquisitions”.

Since closing the IHS deal, S&P’s share price is up about 13 per cent, slightly lagging its benchmark S&P 500 index. 

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