Fitch Group, the parent company of the namesake credit rating agency, has agreed to buy the debt research company CreditSights in the latest bout of consolidation among providers of financial information.
The US business, owned by media conglomerate Hearst, announced on Thursday that it would buy CreditSights from its founders and other investors for an undisclosed sum.
The financial services industry has been home to blockbuster mergers in the past several months. The London Stock Exchange’s $27bn takeover of data and trading group Refinitiv received approval from EU regulators on Wednesday, while S&P Global agreed to buy analytics specialist IHS Markit in a $44bn deal in November. Fitch’s proposed deal, while not on the same scale, will expand the company’s presence within a debt market that has ballooned in size over the past decade.
New York-based CreditSights was founded in 2000 by former bankers Peter Petas and Glenn Reynolds and employs more than 200 people. It is highly regarded in the credit market for its independent, subscription-based corporate and sovereign debt market research that reaches nearly 15,000 investors and analysts.
The acquisition, which is subject to regulatory approval, will add to the Fitch Solutions arm of the company. That part of the business provides credit analysis and counts specialist services Covenant Review and LevFin Insights among its offerings.
“They’ve been on our radar for quite some time . . . over the years they've built up quite a loyal following of customers,” said Brian Filanowski, head of Fitch Solutions. “Especially now with the amount of credit in the market, [CreditSights] will help our customers make sense of that.”
Luciano Dolgetta, chief financial officer of Fitch Solutions, noted that the vast majority of CreditSights’ customers worked within the asset management industry.
“That's a client base we want to expand into,” he added. “We want to establish even more of our presence in the fixed income capital markets and we find these products to be extremely complementary.”
Privately owned CreditSights received a $2.8m loan through the US government's coronavirus relief scheme last year, according to documents at Companies House. In September, it took a minority stake in Alphastream, a Singapore-based fintech firm.
The first two weeks of 2021 have kicked off with a spree of acquisitions across sectors as companies seek to maneuvre between the fallout from the coronavirus crisis. Global Infrastructure Partners bought the private jet services company Signature Aviation for £3.4bn this week while American Tower bought telecom unit owner Telxius, based in Spain, for €7.7bn.