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Data Provider Bureau van Dijk sold to Moody’s

May 2017

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Swedish alternative investments firm EQT in May 2017 sold Bureau van Dijk to Moody’s for EUR 3.0 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2017.

Bureau van Dijk, with headquarters in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, captures, processes, standardizes, and distributes a dataset about private companies around the world, with coverage of more than 220 million companies. It aggregates approximately 160 different information sources.

EQT had acquired Bureau van Dijk in September 2014 and subsequently reorganized it, focusing on sales. Specifically, Bureau van Dijk introduced a matrix sales structure, implemented a global CRM system, and expanded the salesforce; it also developed new products, launched a new user interface, and made substantial investments in marketing and corporate branding. Bureau van Dijk generated revenues of EUR 258 million and EBITDA of EUR 132 million in 2016.

Moody’s includes Moody’s Analytics, which offers software, advisory services and research for credit and economic analysis and financial risk management, and¬†Moody’s Investors Service, which provides credit ratings and research covering debt instruments and securities.

Both activities are information-intensive and should benefit from a closer association with Bureau van Dijk.

Furthermore, this acquisition is significant to the global employee benefits industry because Bureau van Dijk owns Orbis, the largest database of information about multinational corporations.

With a multiple of 22.7, the price paid by Moody’s for Bureau van Dijk is high by any standard and the acquirer must be expecting very substantial synergies for the deal to make sense from a financial standpoint. At 51%, the operating margin is extremely high, certainly reflecting the value of the information it collects and makes available to its clients, and probably also the lack of any significant competitors.

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