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US private equity firm Francisco Partners has agreed to buy financial data provider Macrobond for almost €700mn, the latest deal in a sector that has attracted billions of dollars from investors in recent years.

Francisco Partners is acquiring the business from rival private equity firm Nordic Capital, according to people familiar with the matter. The US-based firm beat out competition from other private equity groups and strategic buyers.

Founded in Sweden in 2008, Macrobond provides financial data and technology services to more than 800 banks and asset managers, according to its website.

Nordic Capital has made about six times its money after first backing Macrobond in 2018, showing the returns on offer to investors drawn to the typically predictable subscription-based revenues financial data providers have.

Over the past 18 months, financial data providers Reorg and Leveraged Commentary and Data have both also traded hands in big money deals.

Buyout group Permira took a majority stake last August in Reorg which valued the distressed debt and bankruptcy information provider at about $1.3bn.

That came months after data group Morningstar acquired Leveraged Commentary and Data, which reports on debt financing transactions, from S&P in a deal worth up to $650mn.

Nordic Capital bought Macrobond with the aim of helping it to expand its market position.

“We made significant investment into the technology of the business as well as putting a strong focus on building its unique data set and differentiating from its competition,” said Emil Anderson, a partner at Nordic Capital.

Nordic Capital also helped push the company into new markets in Asia and North America. Macrobond employs 230 people across six offices in Europe, Asia and North America.

The private equity group is exiting its investment at a time when the wider buyout industry faces pressure to return capital to the institutional funds that back them.

The sale of Macrobond also marks a rare sale of an asset between private equity groups. The volume of such deals has plunged in Europe this year as tumultuous markets have made it more challenging to value assets, while rising interest rates have made financing deals more costly.

Stockholm-based Nordic Capital has deployed €22bn across more than 130 investments since its founding in 1989, including billions for technology and payment companies. It has raised €9bn for its most recent fund.

The Macrobond transaction is expected to close by the end of August.

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