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Rating:M* Buys a Key Ally For Another $59.55MM Not Rated 0.0 Email Routing List Email & Route  Print Print
Tuesday, April 21, 2020

M* Buys a Key Ally For Another $59.55MM

Reported by Neil Anderson, Managing Editor

Kunal Kapoor is bringing a key Morningstar ally in-house.

Kunal Kapoor
Today Kapoor, CEO of Morningstar, confirms that the Chicago-based, publicly traded investment research (and mutual fund-watching) firm has agreed to buy Amsterdam-based Sustainalytics. The deal is expected to close early in Q3.

The M* folks first partnered with Sustainalytics in 2015, with the Dutch firm powering ESG (environmental, social, and governance) scores for mutual funds. Then in 2017, after Kapoor took over as M*'s CEO, M* bought a 40-percent stake in Sustainalytics.

Now M* is paying 55 million euros ($59.55 million) up front, with cash earnouts in 2021 and 2022, to buy the remaining 60 percent of Sustainalytics. All together, the deal values Sustainalytics at 170 million euros ($184.09 million). Sustainalytics has more 650 staff members across 16 offices. (That's up from more than 300 staff across 13 offices back in 2017, when M* first invested). By comparison, M* now has 5,230 employees across 27 countries.

"By coming together, Morningstar and Sustainalytics will fast track our ability to put independent, sustainable investing analytics at every level — from a single security through to a portfolio view — in the hands of all investors," Kapoor states. "Morningstar helped democratize investing, and we will do even more to extend Sustainalytics' mission of contributing to a more just and sustainable global economy."

"This new ownership structure will amplify our ability to bring meaningful ESG insights, products, and services to the global investment community to the global investment community and to companies around the world," states Sustainalytics' CEO, Michael Jantzi. "Importantly, I am thrilled that my colleagues and I are joining a firm with a belief in our mission and intent to help us further expand our reach." 

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