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BlackRock to buy data firm Preqin for $3.2 billion

Preqin acquisition adds a highly complementary data business marking BlackRock’s strategic expansion into the fast-growing private markets data segment

BlackRock to buy data firm Preqin for $3.2 billion
[Source photo: Chetan Jha]

US investment management firm BlackRock has announced the acquisition of Preqin, a UK-based private markets data provider, for £2.55 billion (about $3.2 billion) in cash.

The transaction is expected to close before year-end following the regulatory approvals.

Bringing together Preqin’s data and research tools with BlackRock’s own technology solutions platform, Aladdin, will result in the creation of a “preeminent private markets technology and data provider,” the investment firm said in a statement.

The Aladdin platform offers technology solutions to more than 1,000 clients. Combining Preqin with eFront, Aladdin’s private markets solution, unifies data, research, and investment processes for fundraising, deal sourcing, portfolio management, accounting, and performance. Preqin will remain available as a standalone solution, BlackRock said in the statement.

Aladdin’s complementary workflow capabilities on a unified platform will create a preeminent private markets technology and data provider.

“Together we can accelerate our efforts to deliver better private markets data and analytics to all of our clients at scale.” said Mark O’Hare, founder of Preqin. “I look forward to joining BlackRock and continuing to play a role in the continued growth and success of Preqin and our customers.”

Preqin founder Mark O’Hare will join BlackRock as vice chair after the close of the transaction.

“Private markets continue to evolve and so is Preqin. I am incredibly excited about the opportunities this next phase of growth, together with BlackRock, promises our customers and our employees,” said Christoph Knaack, chief executive officer of Preqin.

The acquisition adds data business to BlackRock’s investment technology, making it a strategic expansion into the fast-growing private markets data segment, the US asset management firm said in the release.

BlackRock projects the private market segment, including alternative assets, will reach nearly $40 trillion by 2030. The private market data service, estimated at an $8 billion addressable market and growing at 12% per year, is expected to reach $18 billion by 2030.

Two decades old, Preqin enables 200,000 investors make informed investment decisions by providing data and insights that increase transparency and access across the global alternatives market.

In 2024, Preqin is expected to clock $240 million in revenue and has posted 20% growth annually in the past three years.

“As clients increasingly evolve their focus from choosing products to constructing portfolios, this shift requires technology, data, and analytics that create a ‘common language’ for investing across both public and private markets. We see data powering the industry across technology, capital formation, investing, and risk management,” said Rob Goldstein, BlackRock’s chief operating officer. “Every acquisition has been an opportunity to strengthen our capabilities for clients—and in fact, we have been a client of Preqin for many years, and we look forward to welcoming the talented Preqin team to BlackRock.”

“Together with Preqin, we can make private markets investing easier and more accessible while building a better-connected platform for investors and fund managers. This presents a substantial opportunity for Aladdin to bridge the transparency gap between public and private markets through data and analytics,” said Sudhir Nair, global head of Aladdin.

Barclays served as lead financial advisor to BlackRock, with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom acting as legal counsel. Goldman Sachs International served as the sole financial advisor, and Macfarlanes acted as legal counsel, to Preqin.

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