Parthenon to acquire rating agency KBRA

Parthenon Capital has agreed to acquire a majority stake in KBRA, a global rating agency.

Parthenon Capital has agreed to acquire a majority stake in KBRA, a global rating agency. The deal is valued at $900 million, according to a source familiar with the transaction. Newbold Partners LLC was financial advisor to Parthenon on the deal.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK — KBRA, a full-service global rating agency committed to innovation and integrity, today announced it has entered a deal with leading growth-oriented private equity firm Parthenon Capital Partners who will acquire a majority stake in the company. KBRA is the largest global credit rating agency founded in the wake of the global financial crisis.

“When KBRA was founded, our mission was to provide the market with timely, valuable, and transparent ratings and research,” said KBRA CEO, President, and Co-Founder Jim Nadler. “Over the past 11 years, KBRA has set the standard for engagement with investors, which has led to our leadership position across many markets. This investor engagement and outreach has also led to KBRA’s acceptance and reliance among issuers, policymakers, and key opinion leaders. As we continue to expand both domestically and abroad, we are excited to partner with Parthenon to accelerate our future growth.”

KBRA has more than 400 employees across five offices in the U.S. and Europe. The company has issued over 51,000 ratings with nearly $3 trillion in rated issuance since its inception in 2010. KBRA provides industry-leading ratings and research across all sectors from its Corporate, Financial, and Government (CFG) and Structured Finance units. The company also delivers high-quality data, information, and tools to the market through innovative technology across its KBRA Analytics platform, including corporate and financial sector credit information and data and analytics.

“KBRA has quickly become a leading voice among the major global rating agencies. The market clearly relies on KBRA for holistic, transparent and thoughtful credit ratings and research,” said Zach Sadek, a partner at Parthenon Capital.

“KBRA’s strong culture valuing integrity, ratings quality and customer service positions the firm for continued growth and success,” said Brian Golson, Co-CEO of Parthenon Capital. “We look forward to partnering with KBRA’s passionate team to support their next chapter.”

Parthenon Capital’s financial advisor was Newbold Partners LLC and its legal advisor was Kirkland & Ellis LLP. KBRA’s legal advisors were Gunderson Dettmer LLP and Shearman & Sterling LLP.

About KBRA
KBRA provides credit ratings across a variety of CFG sectors and Structured Finance. The former includes Corporates, Financial Institutions, Funds, Insurance, Project and Infrastructure, Public Finance, and Sovereigns. Structured Finance offerings include all major sectors, including ABS, CMBS, RMBS, and Structured Credit. In addition to ratings, the firm provides insightful credit information and data through its KBRA Analytics Service. For more information, please see www.kbra.com and kbraanlytics.com.