BlackRock will acquire 100 per cent of the equity interest in eFront for $1.3 billion in cash.
Sunday 24, March 2019
(Bloomberg) –BlackRock has acquired French software provider eFront to expand private equity and real estate analytics for clients.
The deal comes as BlackRock, which mostly oversees assets in indexed products, looks for other avenues to grow its business, including in technology and alternatives.
The eFront purchase will add to BlackRock’s risk management technology platform called Aladdin. Customers like pension funds, insurance companies and competing asset managers licence Aladdin to analyse how a variety of scenarios would affect their holdings, among other uses.
Additionally, BlackRock has been attempting to build up its alternatives business. Last year it purchased Tennenbaum Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private credit manager, and announced plans to raise a new fund to buy and hold stakes in companies.
Laurence Fink, the Chairman of BlackRock, 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.”
“We’re particularly excited about eFront’s global footprint, including its headquarters in Paris, which is a key market on the continent for BlackRock,” added Fink.
Bridgepoint acquired eFront for EUR 300 million in 2015, and the company has broadened its offering since then, according to its website. eFront’s software helps private equity firms, real estate investors and other financial customers analyse their performance and fundraising, monitor and collect data on their portfolios, meet accounting and regulatory obligations and communicate with investors.
Credit Suisse Group and Morgan Stanley advised eFront and Bridgepoint.
eFront was founded in 1999, has made several acquisitions to expands its technology platform and has 700 clients across 48 countries as of last year.