Morningstar agreed to acquire Standard & Poor's fund data business for $55 million in cash, said Joe Mansueto, Morningstar chairman and CEO, and David Guarino, S&P spokesman, in separate interviews. The acquisition price is subject to post-closing adjustment, a Morningstar statement said. The deal is expected to close in March.
The S&P fund data business covers 135,000 managed investment vehicles in more than 30 countries, mostly mutual funds but also ETFs, hedge funds and offshore funds. The data provides historical information on performance, rankings and holdings. Morningstar already provides data on 190,000 investment offerings, Mr. Mansueto said. The S&P data will be integrated with Morningstar data.
The acquisition will expand the depth and breadth of Morningstar's coverage and "allows us to expand our international business, which has been one of our primary growth objectives," Mr. Mansueto said. "About 80% of revenues of this business (being acquired) is from international."
Under the agreement, Standard & Poor's will license mutual fund data from Morningstar for use in Standard & Poor's fund ratings and research products and services, the statements said. S&P wants to focus on expanding qualitative fund research and ratings, which are forward-looking analysis, said Mr. Guarino.
All 170 of the S&P fund data business staff - 110 in Europe, 20 in Asia and 40 in the U.S. - will be transferred to Morningstar, said Messrs. Mansueto and Guarino.