Both share vision for next generation of credit ratings with better technology, more transparency, and depth of analysis
Morningstar, Inc. (Nasdaq: MORN), a leading provider of independent investment research, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire DBRS, the world’s fourth-largest credit ratings agency, for a purchase price of $669 million. The combination of DBRS with Morningstar Credit Ratings’ U.S. business will expand global asset class coverage and provide an enhanced platform for providing investors with leading fixed-income analysis and research.
For more than 40 years, DBRS has built a strong market presence across Europe, the U.S., and especially Canada. As the world’s fourth-largest credit ratings agency, the company rates more than 2,400 issuer families and nearly 50,000 securities worldwide. The Carlyle Group and Warburg Pincus led the acquisition of DBRS in 2014.
DBRS reported $167 million USD in revenue for the fiscal year ended November 30, 2018. The business generates strong cash flow with operating margins that are consistent with Morningstar’s overall business. On a preliminary pro forma basis, if Morningstar owned DBRS as of Dec. 31, 2018, revenue from credit ratings would have represented approximately 17% of Morningstar’s total revenue.
Building on the strength of its equity research, Morningstar first began publishing non-Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization (NRSRO) credit ratings on public companies in 2009 and in 2010 acquired Realpoint, a NRSRO with a specialty in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS). As a long-term key product area for Morningstar, its credit rating activities have since expanded to include residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS), agency risk transfers, single-family rentals, asset-backed securities (ABS), collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), corporate securities, financial institutions and real estate investment trusts (REITs). Morningstar Credit Ratings has also tripled its technology team, grown impressive talent, and moved to an all-new New York City headquarters at 4 World Trade Center.
DBRS has more than 500 people spread across seven locations and will continue to be led by its existing management team. Morningstar intends to name a leader of the combined businesses by the time the deal closes, and the companies plan to work together on decisions over time regarding the integration to ensure the combination is set up for long-term success.
DBRS is an independent, privately held, globally recognized credit ratings agency with offices in Toronto, New York, Stamford, Chicago, London, Frankfurt and Madrid. Founded in 1976 in Canada, DBRS is growing rapidly internationally. DBRS’s four decades of experience and strong track record are the foundation to seek out new opportunities and to make targeted investments aligned with its core ratings operations. As the world’s fourth-largest ratings agency, DBRS’s approach and size provide the agility to respond to customers’ needs in their local markets, while being large enough to provide the necessary expertise and resources. For more information visit www.dbrs.com.
Source: Morningstar Press Release