Nasdaq to buy OMERS-backed news distributor Marketwired: Reuters

Nasdaq Inc said on Friday it would acquire newswire operator and press release distributor Marketwired LP for an undisclosed sum, adding to the exchange operator’s corporate services offerings.

The deal, which is subject to regulatory approval, would be funded through a mix of debt and cash and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2016, Nasdaq said.

Marketwired is currently owned by OMERS Private Equity, the private equity arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS), which in October was said to have been mulling a sale of the Toronto-based company. At the time, Marketwired was said to be valued at as much as US$200 million, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters.

The deal is expected to add to Nasdaq’s earnings within a year of closing and should have no material impact on Nasdaq’s financial leverage or capital return strategy, the company said.

Marketwired, with offices in both Canada and the United States, has more than 8,500 clients, including Forbes 2000 companies, private corporations and public relations agencies.

Nasdaq said its corporate services clients would benefit from access to Marketwired’s social media targeting tools and analytics.

“This is a major opportunity for our Corporate Solutions business to enhance its end-to-end portfolio of services for communication professionals – including news distribution, media research, social media and analytics,” Stacie Swanstrom, head of corporate solutions at Nasdaq, said in a statement.

The deal strengthens Nasdaq’s position in North America, and particularly in Canada. The global exchange operator said in December it would acquire alternative equities trading platform Chi-X Canada, giving it direct access to the Canadian equities market.

Update: In a statement, Michael Graham, senior managing director and head of North America for OMERS Private Equity, said the sale “is a logical step in the company’s evolution.” OMERS has backed Marketwired since 2006. The business has been a “strong contributor” to OMERS’ returns. Graham said.

(Reporting by John McCrank; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

(This story has been edited by Kirk Falconer, editor of PE Hub Canada)

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