Dun & Bradstreet to Be Sold to PE Group for $5B

Buyers including former Blackstone dealmaker Chinh Chu will take the company private after 177 years of independence.
Matthew HellerAugust 9, 2018

Data and analytics company Dun & Bradstreet has agreed to be acquired by a consortium of private equity funds in a $5.38 billion deal that would end its 177-year history of independence.

The announcement on Wednesday came six months after Dun & Bradstreet launched a review of strategic alternatives. Shareholders will receive $145 in cash for each share of common stock they own, a premium of 18% to the stock’s Wednesday close.

The buyer group is led by CC Capital, Cannae Holdings, and funds affiliated with Thomas H. Lee Partners. CC Capital is the investment arm of former Blackstone dealmaker Chinh Chu, while Cannae has specialized in financial services investments.

The deal is “the culmination of a thoughtful and comprehensive review of the value creation opportunities available to the company as part of a full portfolio and business assessment and exploration of strategic alternatives with multiple financial sponsors,” Dun & Bradstreet CEO Thomas Manning said in a news release.

“As a result of this process, the Dun & Bradstreet board of directors unanimously determined that this all-cash transaction with the investor group is in the best interest of our shareholders and our company,” he added.

Dun & Bradstreet traces its history to 1841 when Lewis Tappan formed a business to provide credit information across the U.S. via commercial telegraph. Tappan’s company, which had become known as R.G. Dun & Co., merged with rival John M. Bradstreet Co. in 1933.

“Latterly, the company has acquired a series of software and analytics companies in order to better commercialize its information, and to help customers in their analysis of the data,” the U.K. publication Computing reported, citing the recent acquisitions of NetProspex and Avention.

Dun & Bradstreet would join other software vendors including BMC Software, Compuware, Tibco, and Riverbed Technologies that have been acquired recently by private equity.

“In an increasingly data-driven world, Dun & Bradstreet’s insight-driven business model and interconnectivity across industries has positioned the company for continued success,” Cannae Holdings Chairman William Foley said.

The transaction is subject to a 45-day “go-shop” window during which Dun & Bradstreet can solicit alternative offers.