Pearson acquires Mergermarket: adds new financial content and services to the FT Group

Pearson, the international education and information company, today announced the acquisition of the Mergermarket Group for £101m (net of cash retained in the business).

Mergermarket is a highly customer-focused financial information company which combines historical news and data with proprietary, forward-looking insights and intelligence. It provides this information electronically to financial institutions, corporations and their advisers, becoming part of their customers' daily workflow.

Its flagship product, mergermarket, couples detailed databases of transactions and third party news sources with early-stage intelligence on potential corporate activity generated by 160 M&A journalists in 31 countries. Its customers - which include 29 of the world's top 30 investment banks, 18 of the top 20 law firms and 25 of the top 30 private equity houses - use this information to generate ideas and new business opportunities.

Building on the successful mergermarket model, the company has launched a series of new services including Debtwire for traders of distressed and high-yield debt, dealReporter for merger arbitrageurs and Wealthmonitor for private bankers. It has a strong record of successful product launches and a healthy pipeline of further innovative new services to be launched over the next few years.

Founded in 2000, mergermarket's sales have grown very rapidly and its subscription model produces high renewal rates (currently well over 95%), reliable revenue streams and excellent cash conversion. The acquisition is expected to enhance Pearson's adjusted earnings per share in 2007, its first full year and return on invested in capital in 2008.

"Mergermarket builds its products around its customers, creating unique, indispensable content that becomes part of their daily lives. It has grown rapidly, demonstrating its ability to build new services around a highly successful business model, and it has an excellent team of people who we are delighted to welcome on board," said Rona Fairhead, chief executive of the Financial Times Group.

"For the FT Group, it adds proprietary content, a premium customer base, reliable growth from new revenue sources and attractive financial characteristics. We see opportunities to connect mergermarket and the FT Group, from the Financial Times and FT.com to our specialist financial magazines and Interactive Data Corporation. These would include using existing FT Group information to develop new products, developing advertising and sponsorship revenues and sharing technology capabilities."

Mergermarket will continue to be led by its current management team including Caspar Hobbs, CEO; Charlie Welsh, Editor-in-Chief; Gawn Rowan Hamilton, CFO; and Richard Hall, managing director for dealReporter and Debtwire.

Caspar Hobbs, CEO of mergermarket, said: "The employees of mergermarket have worked passionately and tirelessly over the last seven years to create a truly global business. Their commitment has been extraordinary and, as a result, so has our success. We have ambitious plans to build our business even further and I can think of no better partner for us than the FT Group."

Ends

For more information:

 

Luke Swanson/ Simon Mays-Smith, Pearson
+44 (0)20 7010 2310

Joanna Manning-Cooper, FT Group
+44 (0)20 7873 4447