Asset manager BlackRock to buy UK data firm Preqin for $3.2 bn in cash

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BlackRock has agreed to buy UK data firm Preqin for 2.55 billion pounds ($3.23 billion) in cash in a further expansion by the world’s biggest asset management company into alternative investments.

BlackRock, which manages more than $10 trillion, is seeking to capitalise on a boom in demand from investors for alternative assets, which includes anything from private equity to infrastructure. In January BlackRock announced a deal to buy Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) for $12.5 billion, while other investment firms have also struck recent deals.

The asset manager beat out rival potential bidders, which sources told Reuters last month included London Stock Exchange Group, and S&P Global, for Preqin following a bidding process and after its owners had decided on a full sale of the business.

Demand for financial data and research has led to a wave of dealmaking in the sector in recent years. Among the biggest was S&P Global’s $44 billion all-stock purchase of IHS Markit that completed in 2022.

In a statement, BlackRock said that the acquisition would complement its Aladdin tech business by bringing together data, research, and investment process for fund managers.

Aladdin is BlackRock’s portfolio management software which provides investment professionals a way to view and manage daily investments.

“Together with Preqin, we can make private markets investing easier and more accessible while building a better-connected platform for investors and fund managers..,” said Sudhir Nair, global head of BlackRock’s Aladdin.

Preqin will also continue to be offered as a standalone solution, the company said.

Preqin is expected to generate about $240 million of recurring revenue in 2024 and has grown approximately 20% per year in the last three years, BlackRock said in its statement.

Preqin, which was founded in 2003, specialises in data about the alternative investment industry. The UK-based company has subscribers in more than 90 countries, according to the British government’s register of companies.

Its founder Mark O’Hare will join BlackRock as a vice chair after the close of the transaction. The Financial Times reported on the deal earlier.

BlackRock said that the acquisition would complement its Aladdin tech business. (Photo: Reuters)

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Edmund Shing, PhD

Global Chief Investment Officer
BNP Paribas Wealth Management

Edmund has over 29 years of experience in financial markets in a wide variety of positions, ranging from proprietary trading to portfolio manager in a number of financial institutions in London and Paris.  He previously held the role of Global Head of Equity and Derivative Strategy at BNP Paribas in London from 2015 to 2020, and has been Chief Investment Officer at BNP Paribas Wealth Management since November 2020.

Edmund is responsible for piloting our investment strategy and will continues to rollout out recommendations and themes with actionable advice that brings our expertise to our clients and support to our client-facing teams.  In this time of change, his expertise in following and anticipating markets is a true value added for both our customers and those at Wealth Management who serve them.

Edmund has a PhD in Cognitive and Computing Science from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, and has done advanced studies in Knowledge-Based Systems and in Experimental Psychology.  He is an EFFAS-certified financial analyst. He has also authored the book “The Idle Investor” published by Harriman House in 2015, proposing 3 simple investment strategies that take only a few minutes to execute per month.

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