Blackstone, Goldman to buy KKR’s Ipreo

Target: Ipreo Holdings LLC

Price: Nearly $975 million

Sponsors: The Blackstone Group LP, Goldman Sachs Group Inc

Seller: Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co

Financial Advisers: Target: Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup; Buyers: Blackstone Advisory Partners, Goldman Sachs, Marlin & Associates

Legal Counsel: Target: Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Buyers: Davis Polk & Wardwell, Fried Frank, Kirkland & Ellis

The deal underscores Ipreo’s appeal to private equity firms, which routinely turn to investment banks to tap capital markets and have an understanding of the reliance of these banks on financial research and specialized software for their deals, sister news service Reuters reported.

The terms of the transaction were not publicly disclosed but a person briefed on the deal said it valued Ipreo a little lower than $975 million. KKR will retain a minority ownership stake in Ipreo, the private equity firms said in a statement.

New York-based Ipreo provides software to manage several aspects of the capital market activities of investment banks, including book building and deal-related accounting.

It also offers databases with equity and fixed income market contacts. Its Bigdough database is a popular source for institutional contact data and investor profiles.

The company was created in 2006 when private equity firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson LLC merged i-Deal LLC and Hemscott Group Ltd, with backing from Citigroup Inc and Merrill Lynch. KKR took over Ipreo in 2011 in a $425 million deal.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advised Ipreo, while Blackstone Advisory Partners, Goldman Sachs, Marlin & Associates and law firms Davis Polk & Wardwell, Fried Frank and Kirkland & Ellis advised the buyer group on the deal.

Thomson Reuters Corp, the publisher of Buyouts, competes with Ipreo in some segments of the financial data market.

Greg Roumeliotis is a correspondent for Reuters in New York.