Morningstar just bought PitchBook for $180M

by Sam Dewey
October 14, 2016

What a morning for Morningstar.

The company, a pillar of the Chicago tech ecosystem and gold standard in the investment research industry, announced today a definitive agreement to buy PitchBook, a Seattle-based juggernaut in private capital research, data and tech.

The deal wears a $180 million price tag, with PitchBook’s valuation sitting at a pretty $225 million. Morningstar was an early investor in the company and already holds a 20 percent share.

"Both Morningstar and PitchBook share the goal of bringing transparency to the investment landscape, and PitchBook is in a great position to continue its strong growth trajectory as private markets and private companies are areas of rapidly growing investor interest,” said Morningstar President Kunal Kapoor in a statement.

Kapoor will inherit the title of chief executive officer from founding CEO Joe Mansueto on January 1, with the deal set to go into effect in the fourth quarter of 2016, subject to customary closing conditions

PitchBook will continue to operate as a standalone brand, maintaining its identity and leadership — including founder and CEO John Gabbert.

“Data has always been Morningstar's sweet spot, and we look forward to working with PitchBook to help investors and advisors better understand and navigate this evolving area of the market. Over time, we plan to add some of Morningstar's proprietary research capabilities to this dataset, and we also see meaningful opportunities to expand the business globally," Kapoor said.

As of September 1, Morningstar employed over 1,400 people in the Chicagoland area and is one of the largest digital tech employers in the city. PitchBook employs about 300 people across Seattle, New York and London.

Images via Morningstar.

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