Morningstar plans to acquire debt-rating agency DBRS for $669 million in a bid to bolster its credit-ratings business, Morningstar said Wednesday in a news release.
The acquisition by the Chicago-based investment research firm will "expand global asset class coverage and provide an enhanced platform for providing investors with leading fixed-income analysis and research," the news release said.
Based in Toronto, DBRS is the fourth-largest credit-ratings agency and rates over 2,400 issuer families and almost 50,000 securities worldwide. The acquisition, expected to close in the third quarter and will combine DBRS' operations, which will continue to be led by its existing management team, with Morningstar Credit Ratings, which was launched in 2009.
"DBRS and Morningstar share research-centric cultures committed to rigor and independence," Morningstar CEO Kunal Kapoor said in the news release. "Together, we believe we can elevate the industry with the world's first fintech ratings agency backed by state-of-the-art models, modern technology and expert research teams that issuers and investors can count on to deliver transparent and independent ratings."
DBRS was previously purchased by alternative money managers The Carlyle Group and Warburg Pincus in partnership with a group of individual Canadian investors and DBRS management in 2015.