A private markets data firm headquartered in London is to be sold for £2.55 billion.

Preqin, founded in 2003, tracks the performance of private equity and hedge funds. It has around 200,000 users and is projected to generate $240 million turnover in 2024.

Blackrock, the world’s largest investment manager with assets under management of $10.5 trillion, has struck the cash deal to acquire it ahead of other suitors S&P Global and Bloomberg. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

It will net Valhalla Ventures, the holding company of founder Mark O’Hare (pictured) – now expected to become a vice-chair at BlackRock – more than £2bn. Management and employees at Preqin will share the other £500m+.

O’Hare previously sold financial information provider Citywatch to Reuters in 1998 for a reported £2.5m. He launched Preqin after the dotcom bubble put paid to his other business, which provided seed funding and advice to internet startups.

A part-time pilot, in 1999 he was forced to crash-land his Piper Seneca seven-seat light aircraft.

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“BlackRock is known for excellence in both investment management and financial technology, and together we can accelerate our efforts to deliver better private markets data and analytics to all of our clients at scale,” he said.

“I look forward to joining BlackRock and continuing to play a role in the continued growth and success of Preqin and our customers.”

BlackRock, which agreed a $12.5bn deal to buy Global Infrastructure Partners in January, will maintain Preqin’s separate offer while integrating its data feeds into its Aladdin and eFront risk management offerings. 

“As clients increasingly evolve their focus from choosing products to constructing portfolios, this shift requires technology, data, and analytics,” said BlackRock COO Rob Goldstein.

“We see data powering the industry across technology, capital formation, investing, and risk management.”

Preqin employs more than 500 people around the world.

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