Pageant Media, the UK-based financial information provider, has acquired the $5m-revenue hedge fund performance database Eurekahedge from the Mizuho Bank, of Japan. It is believed to have paid some $7-8m for the business which has annual operating profit of about $1m.
That consideration is believed to be one-third of what Mizuho had paid for the company in 2011. One insider said the bank had acquired Eurekahedge from its founders, with the ambition “to create a whole raft of hedge fund indices but never gave it the love or investment”.
The audience of the 20-year-old Eurekahedge, primarily comprising hedge fund investors, complements Pageant’s emphasis on fund managers.
It is the UK company’s first deal since February when majority control was acquired by Intermediate Capital Group (ICG), valuing the publisher at an estimated £145m – 15 x EBITDA.
Pageant, which claims more than 2,500 institutional clients including 94 of the world’s 100 largest asset managers, was 56% owned by CEO Charlie Kerr who founded Pageant 22 years ago.
In 2018-19, it had EBITDA of £5.5m on revenue of £24.3m. It had been expected to make some £9.5m on £32m revenue in the 12 months ending in February 2020 – 60% revenue growth in the past two years. It is understood that Kerr’s remaining shareholding may now be just under 30%.
The CEO was buoyant this week about acquisition prospects in the current environment. He also said that Pageant, about 30% of whose revenue comes from more than 100 conferences, would not be postponing any events in 2020, despite Covid-19.
The company had converted many of its events to webinars which gave the opportunity to attract many more delegates and speakers from around the world. The challenge, however, was to deliver sufficient value to the sponsors which contributed so much to event profits.