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Money Management

BlackRock buys specialty alternatives software provider for $1.3 billion

BlackRock (BLK) agreed to acquire alternatives investment software provider eFront from private equity firm Bridgepoint, according to a joint statement Friday.

BlackRock will pay $1.3 billion to Paris-based Bridgepoint and eFront's employees. The deal is expected to close in a few months, a BlackRock spokesman confirmed. It will be funded with existing corporate liquidity and debt, the statement said.

The purchase is being seen as a way to strengthen BlackRock's alternatives and multiasset businesses through integration with Aladdin, BlackRock's existing operating platform. EFront's technology is used to manage the investment lifecycle, due diligence, portfolio planning, performance and risk analysis of alternative investments, the statement said.

"Technology and illiquid alternatives are two pillars of BlackRock's growth, and this transaction provides a unique opportunity to accelerate our positioning in both," BlackRock CEO Laurence D. Fink said in the statement. "We're particularly excited about eFront's global footprint, including its headquarters in Paris, which is a key market on the Continent for BlackRock," he added.

Tarek Chouman, eFront CEO, said: "BlackRock's dynamic platform and global reach will allow us to help even more clients with their alternative asset needs and greatly enhance the value proposition we offer our clients today."

Xavier Robert, partner at Bridgepoint, said in the statement: "With its strategically positioned platform, a leading product portfolio, and a high quality management team, the business is now poised for further growth under BlackRock's ownership."

The transaction is subject to a review by eFront's employee labor council, a requirement of French law.

Bridgepoint has €18 billion ($23.6 billion) in assets under management.