Morningstar Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN) has agreed to purchase the remaining ownership interest in financial research company PitchBook Data Inc. for $180 million. The purchases price values the target at approximately $225 million. Morningstar accumulated a 20 percent in Pitchbook through minority investments made in 2009 and 2016.
Seattle, Washington-based PitchBook offers data and research services for venture capital, private equity and mergers and acquisitions serving more than 1,800 clients. The target will continue to be led by founder John Gabbert after the deal closes by the end of 2016. Pitchbook generated $31.1 million in revenue for the 12 months ended June 30th, 2016. Gabbert says the Morningstar deal will help expand business in Europe and Asia.
Morningstar, headquartered in Chicago, provides investment research data and management services covering stocks, defined contribution and benefit plans, mutual funds and commodities and more. The buyer invested $1.2 million and another $10 million in PitchBook’s Series A and B rounds, respectively. Over time, Morningstar plans to contribute some of it's research capabilities to accelerate Pitchbook's global expansnion, according to Morningstar president Kunal Kapoor, who will become CEO Jan. 1, 2017.
Research and data companies have been receiving robust buyer interest. For example, HGGC has acquired online marketing research company Instantly; Informa Plc is purchasing Penton Information Services for $1.6 billion, a business insights and data provider; and SFW Capital Partners made an undisclosed investment in retail data analytics manager DaySmart Software.