Investment major BlackRock has finalised an agreement to acquire Preqin, a UK-based independent provider of private markets data, for approximately $3.2bn (£2.5bn) in cash.  

The investment manager stated that the acquisition would enhance its Aladdin tech business by integrating data, research, and investment processes to benefit fund managers. 

BlackRock will integrate Preqin’s data and research tools with its portfolio management software Aladdin, which enables uses to view and manage investment.  

Preqin, which provides investors with data to increase transparency in the global alternatives market, will join forces with eFront, Aladdin’s private markets solution.  

This union is expected to offer a comprehensive suite of data, research, and investment tools for fund managers and investors in areas such as fundraising, deal sourcing, and portfolio management. 

With a history spanning two decades, Preqin covers nearly 190,000 funds, 60,000 fund managers, and 30,000 private markets investors.  

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It caters to a user base of over 200,000, including asset managers and banks. 

BlackRock has identified private markets as the fastest-growing asset management segment, with alternative assets projected to reach nearly $40trn by the end of the decade.  

The need for standardised data and analytics is growing, as these tools are essential for investors to effectively incorporate private asset classes into their portfolios. 

The market for private markets data is substantial, currently estimated at $8bn and expected to grow at a rate of 12% annually, potentially reaching $18bn by 2030.  

Preqin itself is forecasted to generate around $240m in highly recurring revenue by 2024, having experienced a growth rate of approximately 20% annually over the past three years. 

BlackRock COO Rob Goldstein said: “As clients increasingly evolve their focus from choosing products to constructing portfolios, this shift requires technology, data, and analytics that create a ‘common language’ for investing across both public and private markets. We see data powering the industry across technology, capital formation, investing, and risk management. 

“Every acquisition has been an opportunity to strengthen our capabilities for clients—and in fact, we have been a client of Preqin for many years, and we look forward to welcoming the talented Preqin team to BlackRock.” 

Preqin founder Mark O’Hare said: “BlackRock is known for excellence in both investment management and financial technology, and together we can accelerate our efforts to deliver better private markets data and analytics to all of our clients at scale.”   

Upon completion, O’Hare will join BlackRock as a vice chair. Subject to regulatory approval, the deal is expected to close in the before the end of 2024. 

According to Reuters, BlackRock’s acquisition of Preqin outpaced other potential bidders, including the London Stock Exchange Group and S&P Global, following a competitive bidding process initiated by Preqin’s owners who were seeking a full sale of the business.