Inflexion, a UK private equity company, has agreed to sell US investment firm Abry Partners the legal rankings provider Chambers and Partners. This is the latest deal to be made in a sector that attracts heightened investor interest.
According to a source familiar with the transaction, Inflexion will receive more than £400mn for Chambers, which is about four-and-a half times their initial investment.
Private equity has made a new bet in acquiring a company which provides information for the legal and financial services industries.
Over the last few years, financial data providers such as Macrobond , Reorg and Leveraged commentary and Data have changed hands.
Chambers, a legal research firm founded in 1990 that ranks lawyers and law firms from more than 200 different countries.
These rankings serve as a quick reference for business, including private equity companies, to find the best law firms and lawyers across industries and countries.
The rankings are important to law firms to get business. They submit submissions and try to be listed. Chambers rankings are often cited, as well as quotes from clients who were interviewed by the directory.
Inflexion purchased the company in 2018. Chambers’ publishing business has been transformed from a print-based company to a digital subscription-based online one under private equity ownership. Chambers has expanded to China and Brazil and increased its presence in the US.
Chambers has expanded its sales and research functions.
Abry, a Boston-based company, invests, among other things, in the communication, media, and information industries. Best Lawyers is a US lawyer ranking company owned by the firm.
Investors have been attracted to companies that provide information to financial service firms in recent years. They are attracted to the steady revenues they receive from selling their products to large institutions like asset managers and banks.
In a deal that valued the company at over €700mn, Nordic Capital, a buyout firm from Sweden sold Macrobond in early this year to US investor Francisco Partners. Permira acquired Reorg last year for $1.3bn.
Debtwire was the first to report on the Chambers deal.