Nordic Capital’s Anderson: Macrobond demand belied slow exit market

The buyer, Francisco Partners, is a San Francisco-based investment firm that partners with technology businesses.

Emil Anderson, Nordic Capital

Nordic Capital readied Macrobond, a provider of global economic, aggregate financial and sector time-series data, for 2023’s slow exit market by educating potential buyers right from the start of the investment, partner Emil Anderson told PE Hub Europe.

The sale to San Francisco-headquartered Francisco Partners, which is subject to customary closing conditions, values the Swedish company at nearly €700 million, giving Nordic Capital a return of approximately 6x, according to a source close to the matter. Stockholm-based Nordic Capital acquired Macrobond in 2018 via its Fund IX.

Under Nordic Capital’s wing, Malmö-based Macrobond more than tripled its annual contract value (ACV) and is trending at 34 percent ACV growth over the past 12 months, according to Nordic Capital.

“We had a significant amount of interest from buyers due to the fantastic positioning of the business, its strong product offering and potential to further scale and expand,” said Anderson.

Francisco Partners came out on top in the competitive process that involved strategic and tech investors, Anderson added.

Headwinds

While Macrobond enjoyed interest from multiple suitors, the exit market remains “slower than usual” due to high inflation, rising interest rates and difficult public markets, according to Anderson.

Nordic Capital’s approach includes work to spend time “from the start of an investment to educate potential buyers and find the perfect fit for the company when the time is right”, Anderson added.

Nordic Capital made a “significant” investment in Macrobond’s technology platform, focusing on building its data set and differentiating the company from its competition, according to Anderson. During the ownership period, Nordic Capital expanded Macrobond from a Nordic-centric, founder-led business to a global company with six offices across Europe, Asia and the US, he added.

Nordic Capital has a positive outlook on the subsector. “The sector for financial data providers seems to be strong at the moment despite wider market uncertainty, particularly due to the predictable subscription-based revenues,” said Anderson. “There have been a number of acquisitions in the sector over the last 18 months and it is certainly an area of technology that Nordic Capital will continue to look at particularly given our strong expertise within the sector.”

Activity within the sector includes London-based Astorg completing the demerger of Fastmarkets, a price reporting agency for the metals, mining, forest products, energy transition and agriculture markets, from Delinian in June. Astorg and Epiris acquired Delinian – then named Euromoney Institutional Investor – in a take-private deal last year.

In January, Intermediate Capital Group-backed With Intelligence acquired CAMRADATA, a data and analysis service for institutional investors, from Punter Southall.