Blucora Inc. (Nasdaq: BCOR) is spending $580 million for private equity-backed HD Vest Financial Services.
HD Vest is a broker-dealer that provides wealth management and advisory services for tax professionals. Under Blucora, HD Vest will operate as a stand-alone entity.
The company has been backed by an investor group led by private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners, a Boston-based financial services, health care services and business services investor, since 2011. Private equity firms Lovell Minnick Partners and Fisher Lynch are also investors.
Bellevue, Washington-based Blucora operates a range of financial services businesses, including online tax preparation service TaxAct. "HD Vest and TaxACT operate in adjacent markets with complementary solutions," says Blucora CEO Bill Ruckelshaus. "This transaction allows us to focus strategically, streamline our portfolio and meaningfully reduce corporate overhead in the coming months."
The company has made other acquisitions, and picked up educational content provider HowStuffWorks Inc. from Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA) for about $45 million in 2014.
There have been quite a few financial services deals recently. On Oct. 13, private equity firm Hellman & Friedman agreed to buy a majority stake in Edelman Financial Services, an asset manager and financial advisory firm. In September, Mizuho Financial Group agreed to pick up a stake in asset manager Matthews International Capital Management from Lovell Minnick.