Financial News

  • 3 May 2013, 6:53

Singapore Fund Closes In On $500m Markit Deal

Singapore's principal sovereign wealth fund is close to sealing a $500m (320m) deal to buy a stake in Markit Group, one of Britain's fastest-growing financial services companies.

I understand that Temasek Holdings, which is among the most powerful state-backed funds in the world, is now in advanced negotiations about acquiring the shareholding ahead of a US flotation of Markit.

Sky News revealed the talks between Temasek and Markit about a deal in February. It is unclear whether the Singaporean fund would acquire shares held by management or Markit's institutional investors, but it is likely that a transaction would value the financial data provider at more than 3bn. The exact percentage that Temasek will own is yet to be determined.

Temasek owns stakes in some of the biggest companies in the world, including Bank of China, Bharti Airtel, the Indian telecoms group, and Chesapeake Energy Corporation, the American natural gas producer.

Mr Uggla, who in October was named the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of 2012, owns a stake in Markit that is on paper worth at least 230m, according to the Sunday Times Rich List.

Investment banks are understood to be pitching for a role on an initial public offering of Markit this month, with a flotation that would raise hundreds of millions of dollars expected to take place in New York as soon as the end of this year.

The company's founder is not short of ambition: he has said that he wants Markit to become "the Google of the financial world" and aspires to creating a more respected financial information empire than those of Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters or McGraw-Hill.

One of Mr Uggla's few setbacks since founding Markit came in 2011, when the company lost out in a bidding war for control of LCH.Clearnet, the clearing house, which is now in the process of being bought by investors including the London Stock Exchange.

Markit already has some external shareholders, having sold a 7.5 per cent stake to General Atlantic Partners, a technology-focused US private equity firm, in 2010. That transaction valued Markit at $3.3bn, and the company's revenues and earnings have both risen significantly since then.

A Temasek spokesman said it did not comment on "market rumour".

Advertisement