Morningstar to acquire LCD from S&P Global for leveraged loan market data

Rick Steves

LCD is the only provider of real-time coverage of the U.S. and European leveraged loan and high-yield bond markets, from deal inception through the trading life of the debt.

Morningstar has agreed to acquire Leveraged Commentary & Data (LCD), a market leader in news, research, data, insights, and indexes for the leveraged finance market from S&P Global.

According to the official announcement, the purchase price is up to $650 million in cash, comprised of $600 million at closing, subject to certain adjustments, and a contingent payment of up to $50 million six months after closing, upon the achievement of certain conditions related to the transition of LCD customer relationships.

Morningstar will now count with LCD’s leveraged loan data, news, analysis, and indexes. The leveraged loan market data provider will integrate with Morningstar’s PitchBook Platform in order to create a centralized platform for participants in the leveraged finance market.

PitchBook was founded in 2007 and collects and analyzes detailed data on the entire venture capital, private equity and M&A landscape. The market data provider has offices in Seattle, San Francisco, New York, London, and Hong Kong and serves more than 70,000 professionals around the world. In 2016, Morningstar acquired PitchBook.

John Gabbert, founder and CEO of PitchBook, said: “As the alternative asset markets continue to grow and deepen, this acquisition presents new opportunities for PitchBook and LCD to solve real customer problems together and address the need for transparency within the private credit markets. LCD’s in-depth coverage of the leveraged loan market combined with PitchBook’s institutional-grade coverage of the private and public equity markets will create an end-to-end data and research tool for enabling core workflows. There’s nothing else out there with more comprehensive access to this data all in one place.”

LCD is the only provider of real-time coverage of the U.S. and European leveraged loan and high-yield bond markets, from deal inception through the trading life of the debt.

The platform also provides growing coverage of investment grade bond issuance, distressed debt, corporate bankruptcies, middle market transactions and CLO/fundraising.

LCD has more than 500 leveraged loan indexes in the U.S. and Europe tracking performance, index characteristics, and risk measures comprised of over 1,800 loans.

More than 60 LCD employees, including experienced journalists, researchers, technologists, and client support and sales personnel, will join Morningstar as part of the PitchBook team.

LCD generates approximately $56 million in revenue. Morningstar intends to fund the transaction through a combination of cash on hand and a new credit facility at closing.

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